Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz, center right, presents a citation to Phillips CEO Steve Phillips. Credit: Maryland Department of Commerce.

Phillips Foods, Inc., the Halethorpe-based makers of frozen seafood dishes stocked in grocery stores, has added 15,000 square feet near its headquarters to produce soups, marking the company’s return to manufacturing in Maryland after a seven-year absence.

The company most recently made its grocery store offerings in Florida, Massachusetts and Minnesota, a representative for the Maryland Department of Commerce said in an announcement today.

Phillips, which also operates a chain of seafood restaurants and airport kiosks, made the addition with an eye toward testing new items and eventually bringing more production back to the state.

“We’re thrilled to be bringing production and R&D capabilities back to Baltimore,” CEO Stephen B. Phillips said in a statement. “The opening of our new facility will enhance our research and development for innovative new products and launch those products more quickly into the retail and foodservice markets.”

The new facility is expected to add 15 jobs at Phillips’ headquarters. The company is seeking funds through the Hogan administration’s More Jobs for Marylanders program and the Job Creation Tax Credit.

Per the Baltimore Business Journal, Phillips Foods, Inc., previously ran its manufacturing and distribution out of an 8.5-acre site in Locust Point, which opened in 2002. The company shut down operations there in 2012, “citing difficult economic conditions and industry dynamics.” One hundred people were laid off as a result. reported in 2015 that developer Mark Sapperstein demolished most of the plant to make way for what is now McHenry Row, a mixed-use development of apartments and retail.

Phillips opened in 1914 as a seafood processor based on Hooper’s Island. The company entered the restaurant business in 1956 when they opened a crab shack in Ocean City.

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Brandon Weigel

Brandon Weigel is the managing editor of Baltimore Fishbowl. A graduate of the University of Maryland, he has been published in The Washington Post, The Sun, Baltimore Magazine, Urbanite, The Baltimore...