WEAVERVILLE  — No Evil Foods, a manufacturer and distributor of plant-based meat products in Western North Carolina, plans to relocate to Weaverville and expand its operations into an existing facility.

The company, founded in 2014 by Sadrah Schadel and Mike Woliansky, will relocate this year to the former Arvato Digital Services building. It had been operating at Blue Ridge Food Ventures, a shared-use incubator kitchen, in Candler.

No Evil Foods partially attributes the need for its expansion to its "accelerated growth and production demands." The move is expected to quadruple the company's production requiring, in turn, for the addition of 15 living wage jobs to be added by the end of the year, the company said.

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"The new space will help us significantly increase our production volume, allow for more efficiency and give us the flexibility to develop new products and quickly bring them to market," Woliansky said in a news release. He added that the new space also will have an "innovation kitchen," where Schadel will develop new products for the brand.

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That space, he said, eventually will evolve into a tasting room "so we can keep everyone excited about what’s coming next from No Evil Foods."

The new facility, which has been dubbed "The Axis," is expected to be operational by late spring 2018.

No Evil Foods features a variety of products under its umbrella, including Comrade Cluck vegan "No Chicken," The Stallion Italian Sausage, Pit Boss, a smoked barbecue plant meat, as well as The Pardon, a turkey alternative. Its products are found in at least 25 states and most recently have been carried by Whole Foods Market in the Rocky Mountain region.

Arvato Digital Services, a major compact disc and DVD maker and distributor, closed in Weaverville in 2016. The company, which had operated there for 32 years, said it had seen "a decline of about 20 percent a year" in CD and DVD production and that "now it seems time to step out of it."

The move impacted 120 workers at the facility.

Asheville-based King Bio's founder, Frank King, and his wife, Suzie, purchased the 416,000-square-foot former Arvato facility and its 33.5-acre property in late 2017 for $8.1 million. The plan upon its acquisition was to use part of the facility for its operations but also to open it up to lease to other local companies, King said last year.

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