Large storage bins at the Shape Foods plant in Brandon's east end.
Shape Foods has paid its way off the city tax arrears list, paying off the $114,000 it owed for its 2010 property tax bill.
Had the company failed to pay off the debt, it could have risked losing its property and building in a tax sale in October, but newly installed company CEO Taras Sokolyk said the company has made some changes in recent months that have paid off.
"Things are going reasonably well but there is always room for improvement," said Sokolyk, who took over the helm four months ago after serving as the CEO with Canad Inns. "I’m satisfied we are making improvements and it’s a relatively new company. So we are looking at more growth and I’m optimistic."
Sokolyk said the firm, which operates a 70,000-square-foot production facility on Victoria Avenue East, has signed new contracts and sales have increased.
"We are in the ingredient business so some companies take our product and put it into ingredients and other foods," Sokolyk said. "The whole concept of Omega-3 in our diet is relatively new and more health studies are coming out every day that show the merits of having enhanced Omega-3 in our diets."
Sokolyk said he had taken over the firm because he wanted a new challenge after several years with the Winnipeg-based hotel chain.
"When this opportunity came up to take a new company with a great product line to the next level, I saw it more as a marketing effort than product development, which we are doing as well," Sokolyk said. "I saw an opportunity to do something in the food processing business, which has been a love of mine all my life. So far, it has proven to be just that."
Sokolyk, originally from Dominion City, was once the chief of staff for former Progressive Conservative premier Gary Filmon. There, Sokolyk worked with the man he replaced as Shape Foods CEO, Jim Downey, who was deputy premier.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition August 13, 2012