French cookware-maker to expand distribution center, add 25 jobs

French cookware-manufacturer Le Creuset announced Monday it plans to triple the size of its 100,000-square-foot distribution center in Hampton County by 2013.

The $3.6 million investment is expected to create 25 jobs, according to a news release from state, company and Hampton County officials.

"Le Creuset is a beloved and dynamic consumer brand with a truly global footprint, and this expansion in Hampton County will directly fuel and support our aggressive growth plan over the coming years," Faye Gooding, CEO of Le Creuset, Americas, said in the release.

Le Creuset has had a presence in South Carolina since 1974 and established the 100,000-square-foot distribution center near Yemassee in 1997, selecting the location for its access to Interstate 95 and the ports of Savannah and Charleston, the release said.

The company plans to add nearly 200,000 square feet at 114 Bob Gifford Blvd. in two phases -- completing half by the first quarter of 2012 and the remaining space in 2013, the release said.

Sandy Fowler, executive director of the Hampton County Economic Development Commission, said her organization has assisted Le Creuset with expansion plans.

"It's solid economic growth, and it's a mainstay in our economic strategy," Fowler said.

The company will begin hiring for the new positions later this year, the release said. Those interested should contact Le Creuset of America human resources at 803-914-2318 or

Le Creuset also plans to combine its two Lowcountry offices into a new U.S. corporate headquarters in Charleston by the end of this year and eventually create a culinary education center for children in Yemassee, according to The (Charleston) Post and Courier.