A new 100,000-square-foot building, representing an $8 million investment in Pasco County, is being built in Compark 75 — just off Wesley Chapel Boulevard.
The expansion was celebrated in an April 9 groundbreaking ceremony, with Jerry Flatt, CEO of The Soule Co., offering remarks about the company’s expansion. He also expressed appreciation for the role that the Pasco Economic Development Council Inc., the Pasco County Commission and Pasco County government have played in helping the company to thrive and grow.
The company — which manufactures packaging materials and also medical foam cushioning — is located at 4322 Pet Lane, in Lutz. That facility will continue operations and will be joined by the new 100,000-square-foot building that is being constructed nearby.
The Soule Co., has two divisions: One fabricates packaging products made to customer specifications; the other fabricates disposable foam positioning products for the medical community.
The professional packaging division distributes a full line of packaging and shipping supplies, including corrugated boxes, poly bags, strapping, stretch films, and tapes, among others.
The medical division works closely with medical entities to design, develop, manufacture and distribute products that assist in patient care, recovery and healing.
The Pasco County Commission approved an economic incentive package worth $177,172 in August 2020, to support the company’s plans.
The incentive package includes $50,000 for creating 25 new jobs; a five-year reimbursement of tangible taxes, which totals $107,171; and, an employee training grant of $20,000 for Pasco-based employees.
The project is expected to generate $4.69 million annually in gross county product, county officials have estimated.
Flatt gave the crowd a brief overview of the company’s history, during the groundbreaking celebration that was recorded and can be viewed on the Pasco EDC’s Facebook Page.
When the company was established in 1957, it originally produced insulation and decorative foam, such as the type used by florists, the company executive said.
Shortly before 1980, Soule shifted to the packaging industry, he said.
“Then, in about 1986, we began our medical division, and right now, the packaging division and the medical division are working under the same roof, at the facility that’s right around the corner here on Pet Lane,” Flatt said.
He told those gathered at the ceremony: “It’s an exciting time for Soule company, with the expansion of our operation.”
The foam products produced by the company’s medical division is used to position patients and keep them safe during surgeries, he said.
“That part of our business is growing very rapidly,” he said, adding that’s because “we’re able to sell that product all over the country.”
He continued: “We typically have agreements with group purchasing organizations and under those organizations, they have a great number of hospitals. They do the purchasing and get the best deals for those hospitals.
“So that’s where the expansion is needed right now,” Flatt said.
The company has many agreements in place, but needs to hold back on them a little while, until it is able to take on the additional business.
Pasco County Commissioner Mike Moore said he’s pleased to see additional jobs being created in Pasco.
County leaders want to create employment opportunities locally, so workers won’t have to leave their communities to drive for work in Hillsborough or Pinellas counties, Moore said.
Mike Bishop, director of stakeholder engagement for Pasco EDC, said “the expansion work with the Soule company is one of the most important things that we do at the EDC.”
The economic development agency seeks to help companies get started, become established and expand, Bishop said.
Published May 05, 2021