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Rising food maker expands product line, plant size and workforce

What foods mean home for you? For many from the South, it’s food like biscuits. Gravy. Cornbread. Tasty Blend Foods produces dry mixes and bakery goods that combine old fashioned homemade flavors with modern packet convenience.

For more than 30 years, the company has whipped up Teays Valley brand foods from pancake mix to chicken breading. The Peach Valley brand serves up “a tradition of biscuits.” Tasty Blend also produces Paula Deen’s Gooey Cakes and Recipe Mix. The company provides private label mixing services for companies across the country.

That formula for success has allowed the company to grow. Tasty Blend operates plants in Fraziers Bottom, West Virginia, and Atlanta, Georgia. The company recently relocated its breakfast sandwiches and biscuits line to the Tasty Blend facility in West Virginia.

Tasty Blend began construction in 2017 to add 22,000 square feet to its existing 48,000 square-foot facility. The increased space houses equipment for the added biscuit sandwich product line. The expansion also creates 20 new jobs, bumping the West Virginia workforce from 45 to 65.

The company marks the completion of that expansion with a private reception on June 14. Company executives, employees and local dignitaries will be treated to a celebration and live music. The facility is expected to be fully operational by July 2019.

Tasty Blend called on the Governor’s Guaranteed Work Force Program to upgrade employees’ skills and ease the workload.

“Thanks to the training, we now have a team effort on our projects,” said Gloria Crouch, an administrator on the management team. “The employees’ morale has boosted significantly.”

The workforce is a key ingredient in the company’s success, said President/CEO Roy Elswick.

“The workforce here is willing to learn, willing to listen, willing to do,” he said. The employees work to help the company succeed now and into the future. “They stay with you. They’re long term dedicated people.”

The company also keeps its customers in mind by serving up a generous helping of recipes and customer letters on its website. Some letter writers convert their friends and family to the culinary pleasures from Tasty Blend mixes. Others prefer to keep to themselves the “secret ingredient” in their home-cooked family meals.

One bride wrote that her “country boy” husband tried to be nice about her cooking, but it was obvious it just didn’t measure up to his mama’s. During a visit to his home, she finally asked his mom for her secret. Her understanding mother-in-law showed her: Teays Valley mixes. At the first opportunity, the bride served her husband Teays Valley mix cornbread. He was amazed by the sudden improvement in her cooking. Now, wrote the bride, “I’m cooking like a country girl and if you don’t mind, I’m going to claim them all as my own!”

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