By Ron Jones

WEST SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Hundreds of new jobs are expected to land in West Sacramento as a Japanese company broke ground on a new production facility.

Shinmei is one of the largest rice-bun producers in the world, and they picked the site because of its location.

“West Sacramento has an incredible location. This is a natural fit for us,” said West Sacramento City Manager Martin Tuttle.

Monday’s groundbreaking ceremony is considered a breakthrough for the producer of gluten-free rice buns. On the vacant six-acre lot, Shinmei is expected to build its first U.S. production facility.

Because of the Central Valley’s huge rice industry, the city says it’s a perfect business marriage.

“We have the rice industry here with Farmer’s Rice Mill. We make rice. This is going to use rice,” Tuttle said. “Our location with the port, the rail lines. The transportaion network. It’s just makes all kinds of sense.”

The plant is expected to crank out 6,000 buns an hour and 40 million a year. That means more tax revenue for the city.

“A lot of global food companies and domestic ones want to be close to one another,” Mayor Christopher Cabaldon said.

Case in point, just last year, Japan’s Nippon Shokken opened a global sauce-making plant in West Sacramento just down the street from where the Shinmei plant will be built.

City officials say the plant is expected to create more than 500 jobs over the next several years and it will open in February.

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