Earl St. Market Breakfast Foods had planned to add 10,400 square feet to its existing 32,000-square-foot facility at 31 Richards Road to install a frozen dough line, which would allow it to repackage frozen biscuits, but a sign posted on the door Wednesday read, "Closed until further notice."
The business last year repackaged foods, such as sausage and biscuits, hamburger patties, vegetables, pretzels and cookies and more. When Andy Evans, who owned the business and was part owner of Mom's Bakery in Atlanta, and general manager Miller Evans appeared before the White City Council in August of last year, Earl St. employed 35 to 40 people.
Although it is not clear how many workers -- the company started with about 15 in March 2009 -- were affected by the cease of operations, Georgia Department of Labor officials had not as of Wednesday received a notice of layoffs or closure, according to spokesman John Ard.
A local industrial supply wholesaler Sept. 14 filed a civil complaint against Mom's Bakery and its president Kristi Kay in the Superior Court of Bartow County. Mid Supply Co. Inc., located on East Church Street in Cartersville, alleges it has not received payment for more than $144,000 in goods sold to Mom's Bakery, which operates an office in Bartow County.
Earl St.'s equipment and supplies apparently are housed in the Richards Road facility, the expansion of which has not yet wrapped up. A security guard at the site Wednesday said watchmen work around the clock to prevent thefts.
Andy Evans in August 2009 told the city council, "It's a new business, but by all indications, it's got a long future." But White City Manager Jane Richards said Wednesday the expansion project began around the first of the year and the majority of work is complete, but the company is required to finish the job.
"Our engineer, he went back down there again [Wednesday] because they haven't completed all their erosion control that they're supposed to do. They could possibly get fined from the [city]. They need to complete it. They're going to be getting a letter from our attorney on that," Richards said, adding Earl St. got a variance for the project but does not yet have a certificate of occupancy for the addition. "We'd really like to see them get this finished and open up. I really hate to see this happen."
Ernie Hollifield of H & L Land Inc., who was involved in the construction, confirmed the expansion was not finished, but declined further comment.
Last year in August, Miller Evans told councilmen the expansion would be complete in about two months, but Richards said the variance and permitting processes took some time. About 70 percent of Earl St.'s employees at that time were locals.
Kay and Andy Evans failed to return calls seeking comment. Mom's Bakery incorporated in 1958, has operated under the Kay family since 1977 and since its inception, has been a high volume, wholesale manufacturer of baked goods focused on high quality and low cost, according to the website. Its primary products are made-from-scratch potato and buttermilk biscuits.
Mom's Bakery purchased the old Pine Log Elementary School to expand operations of the Atlanta-based company. Although Earl St. and Mom's Bakery have the same owners, representatives said last year the White location's addition was not related to the bakery company's move to Pine Log.
-- Jon Gargis contributed to this report.