RAMCO Inc., which operates convenience stores and fast food outlets and provides fuel distribution services from Meridian to the Gulf Coast, is consolidating its operations in the Deep South Industrial Park in Purvis and plans to open the new facility later this year.
Two former buildings of the Deep South Trucking Co., a 9,000-square-foot headquarters and a 22,000-square-foot warehouse, are being renovated to provide a total of 31,000 square feet for RAMCO’s relocated central offices and storage facilities. The buildings are adjacent.
Twenty-four storage tanks will have to be installed at the new facility, some moved from previous locations in Laurel, Hattiesburg, Poplarville and Wiggns and some purchased new and transported to the industrial park. The tanks range from 3,000 to 8,000 gallons.
An engineer who works for RAMCO is handling the renovation and subcontracting the work, according to Allen Morgan, “The only shareholder— owner, president, CEO, all of that.”
Bids are being received for moving the storage tanks and installing them at the Purvis location. There are two bids so far and two more are expected.
The relocation will provide 40 new jobs with average salaries of $30,000. RAMCO intends to maintain a sales presence at its former storage facilities. And Morgan indicated that he will keep RAMCO’s present office in Hattiesburg, “for the sake of convenience.”
“The Deep South Industrial Park is centrally located in our South Mississippi territory, which includes five counties,” Morgan said. “We’re excited to be in a place where the economic climate is as healthy as it is in Lamar County.”
RAMCO also purchased 12 acres around the buildings. “We’re planning to expand into other lines. One thing in our plans is a retail facility on the property.”
RAMCO consists of:
• 14 Mini Mart convenience stores with gas pumps in front of them.
• Food franchises in a number of the Mini Marts.
• The Pine Belt Oil Co.
• The Hub City Oil Co.
Allen Morgan’s father started the family business in 1963 when he founded Mini Mart Inc. Allen graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with a degree in marketing in 1979 and joined his father in the business.
“All of my family has lived in the Hattiesburg area for a long time.”
RAMCO was formed in 1990 as the parent company for the family’s various enterprises.
Ronald LaFon, president of the Lamar County Economic Development District (LCEDD), said that “the growing spirit of cooperation among local government leaders and businesses get credit for the opportunity to bring in yet more new jobs to one of the fastest-growing counties in Mississippi.”
“Any time we can bring in close to 40 new jobs with an annual salary of $30,000, we are going to treat the opportunity with priority,” according to Fred Hatten, president of the Lamar County Board of Supervisors. “The momentum for building a better quality of life for Lamar County continues with another great, locally-owned business staying home.”
The Area Department Partnership (Hattiesburg and Forrest, Perry and Lamar counties) (ADP) worked with the LCEDD and the board of supervisors in the recruitment of RAMCO.
“We knew that they wanted this move to reflect the way that they do business, with a high level of service and cooperation among everyone involved,” LeFon said.
Angie Dvorak, ADP president, said that she was happy that “such a strong company chose this area for their investment.”
She added that the move to Purvis should reap positive results for Lamar County.
Contact MBJ contributing writer at George McNeill at email@example.com.