When traveling on Highway 17 through Holly Ridge, it is easy to miss one of the community’s oldest employers. The town of Holly Ridge is home to J&J Snack Foods, a savory foods producer for companies including Walmart, Aldi, Burger King Puerto Rico and Mexico, and Disneyland in California--to name just a few! Their longest running buyer is Hardees who has been buying their apple pies from the local J&J Snack Foods plant for 32 years.

The company’s history in the community started in 1962 when Sam McGuffie opened Holly Ridge Bakery. The company went through multiple owners, and in 1987 the company moved to its current location. The growth of the company meant a major expansion in 2003, and in 2007 Holly Ridge Bakery was acquired by ConAgra Foods. ConAgra decided to shift its operations away from the Holly Ridge facility in 2011. J&J Snack Foods was able to acquire the facility and keep the doors open. 

By focusing on niche products, J&J Snack Foods was able to maximize production and added a third production line. The company also provided additional resources and a national sales network. With over 140 employees, J&J Snack Foods is one of the largest employers in the area. J&J Snack Foods constantly researches and develops new products at their Holly Ridge location. At any given time, they can be creating 12 or more projects to present to their clients. This helps J&J Snack Foods meet the demand for ever-changing menu options in their customers' grocery stores and restaurants. So, the next time you happen to buy some hand held s'mores pies or a Hardees’ turnover, thank your local J&J Snack Foods for the sweet goodness!