By Liz Holland
PRINCESS ANNE — A company that plans to process chickens for the observant Muslim market has purchased a vacant building in the Princess Anne Industrial Park.
Tauherr Poultry will hire 15-25 workers at first at the 8.1-acre former American Dehydrated Foods property, said Terry Nichols, a former Allen Family Foods employee and a partner in the new business.
An opening date for the plant, as well as the type of processing that will be done there, are still undecided, he said. “We’re still in communications with potential customers and buyers,” Nichols said.
The company plans to process halal chickens, which are birds slaughtered and prepared according to Islamic dietary laws — similar to kosher food preparations in the Jewish faith. Halal foods are a $550 billion industry worldwide, and are used by the 1.6 million Muslims living in the United States.
“We’re just looking to develop a very authentic brand,” Nichols said. He said he and his business partner have a combined 40 years experience in the poultry industry.
The arrival of a new company in the industrial park is good news for the town which saw a series of closures there in 2008, said Dennis Williams, president of the Princess Anne Town Commissioners.
In May 2008, an explosion rocked the Greenlight Biofuels plant, killing a contract welder and severely damaging the building. The plant recently resumed operations. The ADF plant closed in September 2008 after the company consolidated in Virginia.
A month later, Oddi Atlantic, a U.S. subsidiary of an Icelandic printing company, abandoned its operations and filed for bankruptcy, owing $2.2 million to the state of Maryland that financially backed the purchase of a 30,000-square-foot structure on 6.3 acres in the industrial park.
Since last November, the building has been occupied by Northrop Grumman.