Congratulations to Ruiz Food Products, Inc.! The Womble Carlyle client is doubling the size of its South Carolina operations and adding 705 new jobs in Florence County. The expansion represents an investment of $79 million.

In 2014, Ruiz Foods opened its fourth U.S. manufacturing facility in Florence County, joining facilities in California and Texas. Company officials said at the time that the South Carolina facility would enable Ruiz Foods to increase production and distribution all along the East Coast. That initial project involved a $55 million investment and the creation of more than 500 jobs.

The expansion plan calls for the Florence County plant to add another production line immediately, and hiring already is underway. Company officials anticipate more production lines being added over the next several years.

Ruiz Foods’ El Monterey® brand is the top-selling brand of frozen Mexican foods in the country. Its products include burritos, tamales, breakfast burritos, empanadas, quesadillas, taquitos and more. Tornados™, also distributed nationally, is the company’s snack brand and a leader on convenience store roller grills.

A Womble Carlyle team, led by attorney Stephanie Yarbrough, counseled Ruiz Foods both in bringing the manufacturing facility to South Carolina and in this current expansion project. The team also included attorneys Brandy Davis, Cynthia Morton, Graeme Philp, Pam Rothenberg and Kevin Trempe

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said, “Ruiz Food Products has been a tremendous partner of South Carolina’s, and the company’s decision to expand and create more than 700 new jobs is another example of the state’s competitive business environment continues to bring new industry and jobs for our people.”

Stephanie Yarbrough’s practice focuses on guiding clients in economic development and general corporate matters. She works closely with domestic and international companies seeking to expand or relocate operations to the Carolinas and the Southeastern United States. She works with new and expanding businesses in identifying and negotiating incentives and in drafting all related documentation for Fee-in-Lieu of Tax Agreements, state grants, job tax credits, job development credits, utility grants and many other economic development incentives and grants.

Brandy Davis is a capital markets attorney in Womble Carlyle’s Winston-Salem office. She works with financial institutions and other corporate clients on commercial transactions, lending matters, securities issues and regulatory compliance.

Cynthia Morton’s practice includes commercial and residential real estate transactions, including purchases, sales and borrowing, leasing, and assistance with homeowner governance issues, including preparation, amendment, and review of restrictive covenants.  As counsel for lenders, owners and developers, she has been involved in many multi-million dollar commercial developments in South Carolina both as lead counsel and as local counsel for out-of-state lenders and borrowers. She has also handled asset sales and purchases that did not include real estate.

Graeme Philp is a corporate and tax lawyer with extensive experience representing real estate, resort and hospitality, manufacturing, media, and financial institution clients.  He has significant experience on the international tax aspects of inbound, outbound and joint venture transactions.

Pam Rothenberg has extensive experience in a wide range of commercial real estate transactions, having worked with clients to acquire, sell, develop, lease and finance major commercial, multi-family and mixed-use projects.  She also counsels companies in the growing Impact Economy, ranging from large legacy businesses to newly formed entrepreneurial ventures, to facilitate their participation in Impact. Rothenberg serves as Managing Partner of Womble Carlyle's Washington, D.C. office and the leader of the Impact Practice at Womble Carlyle.

Kevin Trempe is an experienced capital markets attorney who focuses his practice on corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and other transactional matters.


L-R: Ruiz Foods co-founder Fred Ruiz, Womble Carlyle attorney Stephanie Yarbrough, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, Florence County, S.C. officials Lauren Stanton and Joe King.