THOMASVILLE -- Manufacturing activity will be up and running again within months at an old factory site that employed generations of area residents.

On Friday, Kold-To-Go Center LLC, a Thomasville company, purchased former Coats American thread factory housing.

Thermally insulated plastic bags sold by Kold-To-Go -- and currently manufactured in Italy -- will be made at the Smith Avenue site.

"We hope to start manufacturing here toward the end of the year, the first part of next year," Gary Stampfli, Kold-To-Go executive vice president, said.

"They'll keep cold things cold for up to three hours," said Stampfli about the product. " ... They will also keep hot food hot for two to three hours."

About 500,000 of the bags are imported from the Italian manufacturer annually.

The purchasing company, with offices in the 200 block of West Jackson Street, is owned by Langdon Flowers Jr., Langdon Flowers III and Stampfli.

According to records in the office of the Thomas County clerk of court, the company paid $375,000 for the 156,000-square-foot complex.

For the next six months and until machinery arrives, company owners will set up the operation.

Once operative, the manufacturer will initially employ about 20, with plans to manufacture 500,000 or more bags annually.

"It depends on increased sales," Stampfli said Tuesday, walking through the main part of the dark, cavernous 58-year-old structure. He pointed out smaller buildings, each about 5,000 square feet, at the rear of the long, narrow tract.

Manufacturing space encompasses two floors of about 50,000 square feet each.

Coats American closed the Thomasville plant several years ago and moved the operation to Mexico.

Stampfli said Lynch turkey calls, which has offices in Thomasville, also will be manufactured at the site.

Sufonique, another Thomasville company owned by the Kold-To-Go group, manufacturers a natural detergent that eventually will be bottled there. Currently, blending and bottling processes are carried out in Pennsylvania.

"If it goes well, it will be a next-year project, as well," Stampfli explained.

Until the space is needed for other ventures, Kold-To-Go will lease unused areas of the buildings for short-term storage of merchandise and building materials.

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