Portobello America Holds Grand Opening for Tennessee Factory

Baxter, TN, October 18, 2023-Portobello America held a grand opening ceremony yesterday for its new plant in Baxter, Tennessee. The nearly one-million-square-foot facility, which began production this summer, represents a $200 million investment-the largest in the Brazilian-based group’s history as well as in Putnam County, Tennessee.

“Being local is a very, very important advantage,” Portobello Grupo CEO John Suzuki said during the opening remarks, referencing both the cost of gas and the service level on which Portobello’s production model is built.

Amid Brazil’s constant inflation, the group operates on a more real-time basis, as opposed to stocking large amounts of inventory.

“The link with distributors will be key when we talk about service,” said group chairman Cesar Gomes Jr. “We need to understand what you’re selling so we make sure we’re producing what you’re selling.”

Before building the plant, the group built a client base of U.S. distributors, but the team is now working to grow those relationships and establish new ones in light of the factory’s initial annual production capacity of 50 million square feet. A dedicated small-format line will become operational around the end of the year, and a second kiln for field tiles is set to be installed by the end of next year. And there is room on the property for expansion.

Pic: Cesar Gomes Jr. shares Portobello’s vision for its new U.S. operations. Learn more in Floor Focus’ November issue.

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