HAWKINS - Nestlé Waters North America, the company that distributes Ozarka Spring Water, unveiled Tuesday its fully restored Hawkins bottling plant following a seven-month rebuilding process in the wake of significant tornado damage.
The company commemorated the milestone at a grand re-opening ceremony, which included factory tours and a $50,000 donation to the East Texas Food Bank .
The local Ozarka team, which has been operating in Wood County since 2002, has long been a provider of bottled water to the East Texas Food Bank.
During the event Tuesday, Ozarka Chief Executive Officer and President Tim Brown joined with Factory Manager Jeff Hall to present a $50,000 check to East Texas Food Bank Chief Executive Officer Dennis Cullinane.
"We have a long history of working with the East Texas Food Bank to help them meet their mission during emergencies but, in this case, we found ourselves on the receiving end," Hall said. "We are forever grateful for our community partners and our employees who stepped up during a very difficult time for our company. Giving back to the East Texas Food Bank is one way we can say ‘thank you’ for all the support we received.”
The plant sustained damage when an EF2 tornado hit several communities in Wood County on April 29. The tornado severely damaged the warehouse roof, offices, electrical room, air handlers, cooling towers, tractor trailers, and personal automobiles. Twisting at 120-125 miles per hour, the EF2 tornado touched down 2.5 miles southeast of Lindale and was on the ground for 27 miles and 37 minutes. None of the 150 employees present were injured.
- East Texas Food Bank