Emilia Replaces Pharma Pac

After a long and bumpy road, Pharma Pac has officially closed its doors in Kemper County.

"Pharma Pac has been struggling for some time now," Craig Hitt, executive director of Kemper County Economic Development says. "Unfortunately, they just were not able to come out of the hard times they were dealing with, and the bank had to foreclose on the operation."

Last week the assets were purchased through the foreclosure by Emilia, a cosmetics company based in Israel that provides to major retailers like Walmart and Walgreens.

"We're really excited to have them here in Kemper County and in Mississippi. This will actually be their first manufacturing operation in the U.S," Hitt says.

And this is great news for former Pharma Pac employees. After downsizing multiple times, the company was down from its peak of 180 employees to less than two dozen, leaving many out of a job.

About 20 of Pharma Pac's remaining employees were hired on with Emilia for the company's startup. But Emilia hopes to bring on about 45 to 50 more employees when the business is up and running.

"It's a great opportunity, not only for those individuals, but for the other local businesses because when you lose that much employment, it certainly hampers the spendin that goes on."

Pharma Pac was given a half million dollars from the state to employ 179 people through Sept. 30 of this year. It's not yet clear what the repercussions will be for failing to meet that quota. Emilia hopes to begin manufacturing products within the next few weeks.