A food machinery automation company plans to open a sales office in the Chesterfield County Airpark on Whitepine Road. JASA Packaging Solutions, Inc. chose...

A food machinery automation company plans to open a sales office in the Chesterfield County Airpark on Whitepine Road.
JASA Packaging Solutions, Inc. chose the site over Atlanta, Boston, Chicago and Raleigh, N.C.

“Currently, there is a big growth in the U.S. going on in the healthy convenience market,” said Sandra Somford-Pannekeet, owner/president of JASA. She explained that “ready to eat” meals are JASA’s “sweet spot.”

The Netherlands-based company has done business in the U.S. for the last 20 years and has existing dealers for their vertical packaging machines used by supermarkets and wholesalers. The company’s facility will include a sales office, service location and warehouse for machines and parts, with future plans for light assembly.

“At the moment a lot is happening in America when it comes to automation,” Somford-Pannekeet said. “There’s a lot of innovation and modernization happening, so this was the perfect time for us to go to America.”

JASA contacted the Greater Richmond Partnership as a result of meeting ProSeal America CEO Gari Wyatt at a German trade show earlier this year. At the time, JASA was looking to expand to the U.S. and Wyatt offered his experience of machine manufacturing in the Richmond region over the last decade. Coincidentally, JASA will occupy a space once occupied by ProSeal.

“Chesterfield County is proud to welcome JASA Packaging Solutions to a community that embraces international business,” Chesterfield supervisor James Holland said. “We look forward to following JASA’s success as they join over 40 county-wide internationally-based companies that call Chesterfield home. For over 45 years the Chesterfield Airpark Business Community has attracted high-caliber companies, and JASA will continue to build on that solid foundation.”

Matt McLaren, senior project manager at Chesterfield County Economic Development, connected JASA representatives with Matt Anderson, senior vice president at CBRE Richmond, which brokered the lease.

JASA, founded in 1985 under the name Pannekeet Machine Techniek, operates as an international specialist in the field of weighing and packaging. JASA machines are used worldwide. JASA is a fast-growing family business with a team of more than 75 employees.