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Packaged meal company opening food prep, packaging center in Plant City

— A packaged meal company based in Tampa plans to open a culinary center in a Plant City late this year.

Fitlife Foods, founded in 2011, will occupy about 15,000 square feet in a building under construction at U.S. 92 and County Line Road, just south of Interstate 4.

David Osterweil, Fitlife’s founder and chief executive officer, said he was attracted to Plant City by its location near major roads and available workforce.

Fitlife, which markets “indulgently healthy” balanced meals ready to heat and eat, is growing and Plant City was an ideal place to expand, he said.

The company’s Plant City location will include food preparation and packaging, transportation and operations.

Fitlife has seven stores in the Tampa Bay area and also sells meals through other retailers, he said.

Osterweil projects that the Plant City center will eventually have more than 100 employees as Fitlife grows.

Fitlife Foods is the first tenant for a 100,000 square-foot building that Central Florida Development has under way in County Line Development Center. The building will be finished in July and the company is negotiating with other customers, Central Florida Development official Jeff Lucas said.

Plant City leaders and the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp. are working to lure more companies to Plant City, particularly along County Line Road.

Lucas said Fitlife’s decision to move here reinforces the belief that the area at I-4 and County Line Road is poised for growth.

Twitter: @dnicholsonTBO

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