Governor Terry McAuliffe announced this week that PH International, LLC, a manufacturer and distributor of home decor and garden products headquartered in Madison County, Virginia, will invest $4.5 million to consolidate operations of its subsidiary Plow and Hearth, LLC and sister company VivaTerra, LLC at its Madison County facility. The company will add 84,000 square feet and create 25 new jobs in the expansion, which will include adding warehouse storage for Plow and Hearth, as well as headquarters staff for VivaTerra.
Speaking about the announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “Bringing new businesses into the Commonwealth and expanding existing businesses like PH International play a critical role in building a new Virginia economy that will enable the Commonwealth to remain competitive on a global scale. We are proud to have PH International on the impressive roster of companies that call Virginia home, and by growing their existing job base in an area that has been economically hard-hit, this project will help to build a solid foundation for economic success in Madison County and the greater region for years to come.”
“Growing our existing business is a key economic development strategy for the Commonwealth,” said Maurice Jones, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade. “We are excited about PH International’s growth in Madison County and the creation of new jobs paying above the average prevailing wage for the region.”
What began as a small retail store in Madison, Virginia in 1980, PH International, LLC has become one of the largest employers in Madison County. The PH International portfolio now includes the flagship brand Plow & Hearth®, plus five other brands, including Wind & Weather®, HearthSong®, Magic Cabin®, Problem Solvers®, and Reuseit®. The Plow & Hearth brand also has 24 retail locations located throughout the Mid-Atlantic, ranging from North Carolina up to New Jersey and Pennsylvania. PH International, LLC was purchased in 2010 by the owners of Evergreen Enterprises, based out of Richmond, Virginia. The company’s owners, Ting Xu and Frank Qiu, came to the U.S. from China when they were in college, made Virginia their home, and started Evergreen in 1993 when Ting and her mother began making and selling garden flags at the Virginia State Fair. Combined, Plow and Hearth, Evergreen Enterprises, and recently acquired VivaTerra (eco-friendly home décor catalog and online brand) now represent a global wholesale and retail enterprise.
“Central Virginia is the perfect place to expand our business, accommodate our rapid growth from the past few years, and absorb recently acquired and future brands,” stated Ting Xu, CEO of PH International. “In Madison, we have access to a talented, dedicated workforce, beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and we have long-standing, strong ties to the community.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Madison County to secure the project for Virginia. Governor McAuliffe approved a $100,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assistMadison County with the project. Additional funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.
“The Madison County Board of Supervisors is most pleased with Plow and Hearth’s decision to expand its facility in Madison County,” said Doris Lackey, Chair of the Madison County Board of Supervisors. “We have long enjoyed a beneficial and productive relationship with this firm, from its inception more than 34 years ago to its place in our community today.
Plow and Hearth has been a great partner and contributor to the community and has an excellent and successful business model. Madison County looks forward to many years of a mutually beneficial and productive relationship with Plow and Hearth.”