A booming south San Antonio experienced another economic gain Tuesday with the opening of the Maruchan Inc. plant.
"Thank you, America, for buying our product," said Mutsuhiko Oda, president of Maruchan.
America's obsession with quick and easy has made Oda a successful man. As president of the largest North American producer of instant noodles, Maruchan has officially opened its doors in Bexar County.
"People love ramen in Texas," said Maruchan Sales Coordination Manager Mark Horikawa. "We're happy to be here."
In fact, Texas is the leading consumer of the product in the United States.
"We considered other cities, but this was always our favorite spot," said Horikawa.
The plant is 510,000 square feet and is on Fisher Road near the Interstate 35 and Loop 410 exchange.
The plant is strategically located on I-35, with much of North America accessible to the north and Mexico accessible to the south.
"We have a big, big market in Mexico," said Horikawa. "It gives us geographical advantages to be in our key markets."
This is Maruchan's first plant opening in 20 years. It will add to production from three other factories, two in California, the company's base, and one in Virginia. Texas' plant will begin on a smaller scale.
"We're not there yet," said Horikawa. "We'll start out with two [production] lines and then eventually maybe in five years we'll be built out to six total [production] lines."
The plant will be able to produce 1.8 million packages of product a day, according to Oda. So far, the plant has employed 200, with plans to hire up to 600 over the next five years.