8 Unique Products Produced in Jacksonville

Jacksonville's manufacturing scene is a Florida anomaly. Jacksonville is home to several manufacturers making products that one would not expect to find in Florida. Here's a few.

Published March 10, 2015 in Opinion - MetroJacksonville.com

1. Anchor Glass Container Corporation
2121 Huron Street
Jacksonville, FL 32254

Image courtesy of Ardagh Glass.

With as much as 624,000 square feet, the Anchor Glass Container Company is the only glass bottle plant in the State of Florida. Paying between $400,000 to $900,000 a month on energy costs, it's also one of JEA's major accounts. Glass making on the site actually dates as far back as the 1926 when Antonio Scalise founded the Tropical Glass and Box Company. Scalise's clients included Pepsi-Cola of Florida, Dixie Lily Company, and Frostie Root Beer.  Daily tours of the plant were also allowed between 10:30am and 4:30pm. By the 1960s, Tropical Glass and Box had been acquired by the Anchor Hocking Glass Corporation.  In 1983, Anchor Glass Container was carved out of Anchor Hocking by Wesray Capital Corporation, a private equity pioneer co-founded by William Simon, U.S. Treasury secretary in the Nixon and Ford administrations. Over the last twenty years, employment at Florida's only glass manufacturing plant has hovered between 235 and 400. Today, it makes 2.7 million beer bottles a day for its only client, Jacksonville's Anheuser Busch brewery.

2. Anheuser-Busch Brewery
111 Busch Drive
Jacksonville, FL 32218

Completed in 1969, the Jacksonville brewery operates 24 hours a day year-round, filling up to 8.5 million cans of beer daily and producing more than 125 million cases of beer annually.  With a $50 million payroll, brands brewed locally include Budweiser, Bud Light, Budweiser Select, Busch , Busch Light, Michelob, Michelob Light, Michelob AmberBock, Michelob Ultra, Land Shark, Natural Light and Natural Ice.

Free guided tours are available at the Jacksonville brewery. Visitors 21+ are given the opportunity to sample products in the brewery's Hospitality Room. There, visitors can choose from a variety of brews, including seasonal brands and new products. For more information, visit: http://www.budweisertours.com/home.htm

3. Fleet Readiness Center Southeast (FRCSE)
NAS Jacksonville

Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy photo by Kaylee LaRocque at https://www.facebook.com/frcsejax/photos_stream

One of eight Fleet Readiness Centers commissioned by the US Navy, FRCSE's role is to perform in-depth overhaul, repair and modification of aircraft, engines, and aeronautical components. With a workforce of almost 3,000 civilian employees, 1,000 military personnel, and 1,000 contractors, FRCSE is the largest tenant command aboard NAS JAX and the largest industrial employer in Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia. Established in 1940, the facilities at FRCSE have turned out almost every type of Navy aircraft-- fighter and attack planes, patrol, antisubmarine, reconnaissance, transport, trainer, special configuration and helicopters.

Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy photo by Victor Pitts at https://www.facebook.com/frcsejax/photos_stream

4. Gerdau Long Steel North America
16770 Rebar Road
Jacksonville, FL 32234

Image courtesy of www.concreteconstruction.net

Gerdau Ameristeel is the second largest mini-mill steel producer, and steel recycler in North America, with an annual manufacturing capacity of more than 10 million metric tons of mill finished steel products. In the company's Jacksonville mill, the only steel mill in Florida, there are two major operations: the melt shop and rolling mill. There is also a shredder at some locations, which takes large objects-- like cars and other large pieces of metal-- and shreds them down to be melted in the furnace at the melt shop. To put the mill's output in a visual perspective, there is approximately one ton of steel in the average car. So basically the Jacksonville operation is melting and rolling about 90 cars per hour or up to 750,000 cars per year.
In operation since 1976, the mill employs 300 and turns 640,000 tons of steel into rebar and wire rod annually.

Image courtesy of Kepware Technologies

Image courtesy of www.concreteconstruction.net

5. Load King Industries
1357 W Beaver Street
Jacksonville, FL 32209

Image courtesy of Load King.

Load King made its name by manufacturing checkout counters, stainless steel tables, and other equipment for Winn-Dixie and other supermarket chains. The company's 200,000 square foot production facility is located in a Beaver Street brick warehouse that was built in 1919. Today, the company specializes in full store buildouts, building all furniture, fixtures and signs at its Beaver Street plant. The company's clients include Al's Pizza, AMC, Caribou Coffee, Daily's Dash, Einstein Brothers Bagels, Flying Iguana, Harris Teeter, Kroger, Safeway, Smoothie King, Starbucks Coffee, Target, and Winn-Dixie.

Image courtesy of Load King.

6. Maxwell House Coffee
735 E Bay Street
Jacksonville, FL 32202

Producing up to 1 million pounds of coffee a day, Maxwell House Coffee is the last remaining large industrial facility on East Bay Street. After 100 years of continuous operation, the 400,000-square-foot plant is one of the world's largest coffee plants and one of the city's oldest manufacturers. Employing 237, the downtown Jacksonville plant is one of the city's most iconic buildings.

7. Sunshine Peanut Company
57 Cantee Street
Jacksonville, FL 32204

Image courtesy of Health Aim at http://www.healthaim.com/6-reasons-why-peanut-butter-is-healthy/8946

With 18 employees, the Sunshine Peanut Company is the smallest Jacksonville business on this list. However, Sunshine deserves a little exposure because it's plant, just west of Downtown Jacksonville, is the only peanut-butter maker in Florida. Currently, the company produces peanut butter for the Florida Department of Corrections prison system.

Sunshine Peanut Company is Florida's only peanut butter manufacturer.

8. Swisher International, Inc.
459 E 16th Street
Jacksonville, FL 32206

Image courtesy of http://sr-wholesale.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Swisher-Sweets-Perfecto-Box-50-ct.jpg.

New Springfield's Swisher International's 86-year-old cigar factory is the largest in the world, in terms of size and production, covering nearly 700,000 square feet, employing 1,100 and producing as many as 8.5 million cigars a day.

Article by Ennis Davis, AICP. Contact Ennis at edavis@moderncities.com

This article can be found at: https://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2015-mar-8-unique-products-produced-in-jacksonville

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