A ceramic tile company from Brazil could help the Baxter community greatly expand over the next several years.
Mayor John Martin says Portobello America’s $150 million capital investment will have a tremendous impact on the small town.
“It’s absolutely unbelievable that a company of this magnitude is coming to a small town like Baxter,” Martin says. “It’s just absolutely unbelievable for our community. Like their president (Cesar Gomes Jr.) said, he wants to be a part of the community. Whatever we need, they will have meetings they will set up with us and they’re going to be a neighbor. That means so much to us that they make a comment like that.”
Martin says it’s been difficult keeping the company’s plans under wraps until their official announcement at DelMonaco Monday morning.
“People come and they say they heard a rumor,” Martin says. “We just act dumb. It’s terrible, but it had to be, that’s the way they do it, they want privacy, and it’s been pretty private.”
Martin says despite their efforts, the city has already received interest in the project and looks forward to the city’s continued expansion.
“We’ve already had people that found out about this project. Of course you can’t keep everything under wraps, but people’s already coming to us,” Martin says. “Developers and different businesses are already talking about hopefully locating in Baxter. It’s a spark.”
Portobello’s private capital investment will create a United States headquarters for the company in Baxter with 220 jobs being created. The company anticipates the new facility to be completed in 2021.