During its business meeting Feb. 22, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors approved an incentive package for the expansion of Cuisine Solutions’ global headquarters in Sterling.
Cuisine Solutions is a provider of prepared gourmet entrées, sauces and other menu items for fast-casual and restaurant chains, hotels, airlines, retailers and food service providers around the world.
Specilizing in “sous-vide” products, the firm has its world headquarters in Sterling. Cuisine Solutions employs more than 1,300 people worldwide and it opened its 56,500-square-foot, $30 million production facility on Moran Road in Sterling in March of 2013.
Employing about 80 people in Sterling when it opened, Cuisine Solutions has since hired more than 700 employees, including 500 new hires since the beginning of 2017 during the expansion of its 63,000-square-foot warehouse and manufacturing facility.
The board is considering a Commercial Business Incentive Fund package for $180,000 in the form of fee waivers and cash for the expansion of the Sterling facilities.
These incentives would be based on the firm’s projections of a $28 million outlay for the expansion and the consideration of another $17 million expenditure for the new production equipment. Cuisine Solutions has yet to decide whether to house the majority of this equipment in Sterling or Alexandria. The primary determining factors include access to labor, available public and private transportation options for employees, reasonable rates for commercial use of water and tax rates on personal property equipment.
According to the BOS agenda, Cuisine Solution’s current annual expense towards its Sterling-based employee commuter transportation is in excess of $1 million. In addition, its executive team has already indicated that hiring required human capital has already proven easier in Alexandria than Loudoun County.
The incentive package is supported by the Loudoun Department of Economic Development and Supervisor Ron A. Meyer of the Broad Run District.
“The Cuisine Solutions expansion is a big win for Loudoun — hundreds of jobs and tens of millions in investmen,” Meyer said. “Undoubtaedly, many of us have eaten their products and had no idea, considering their clients are some of the biggest retail food providers in the nation.”
According to Loudoun County Economic Development, Cuisine Solutions is the largest sous vide company in the world. Sous-vide — French for “under-vacuum” — is an innovative cooking technique in which food is vacuum-sealed and slow-cooked in water at constant low temperatures until it’s perfectly cooked through.
Bruno Goussault, the company’s chief scientist, pioneered the technique “sous vide” technique, which allows the company to offer gourmet food that can be shipped and stored without harmful preservatives or the loss of flavor or texture.
LED Executive Director Buddy Rizer said companies like Cuisine Solutions add to the unique diversity of Loudoun’s economy.
“Cuisine Solutions’ clients are international brands with household names,” Rizer said. “They are proof positive that with an international airport, a top-notch workforce and a supportive business environment, global success is #LoudounPossible.”
If the agreement is approved, the County will waive up to $25,000 in permit fees related to County trade permits for capital improvements and other improvements at the facility and transfer $155,000 from the Commercial Business Incentive Fund to the EDA for distribution. The current Commercial Business Incentive Fund balance is $1.45 million. Should the Board elect to approve this incentive it would leave a remaining balance of $1.295 million in the Commercial Business Incentive Fund.
An additional BOS agenda item calls for naming the driveway leading to 1501 Moran Road (Cuisine Solutions) as Sous Vide Lane “to recognize the achievements and the expansion of this company. The driveway is currently unnamed.