Layman Distributing in Salem will invest nearly $7 million in relocating to a larger facility, creating 42 new jobs, the governor announced Friday. Photo by Stephanie Long, Roanoke Regional Partnership.

A Salem-based wholesale distributor of products to retail businesses and restaurants will invest $6.8 million in an expansion, relocating to a larger facility and creating 42 new jobs, the governor’s office announced Friday.

Layman Distributing, which has been operating at 1630 W. Main St. in Salem, will have twice its existing square footage at its new 2157 Apperson Drive location, according to a news release.

The company has finished moving into the new 130,000-square-foot facility and as of this past Tuesday has been making deliveries from that site, Justin Keen, Layman Distributing’s vice president of corporate development, said in an interview.

The 42 new jobs are expected to be added over the next five years, he said.

“We’re excited for the opportunity to grow our family-owned business,” Keen said.

Founded in 1948, Layman began its business distributing tobacco products and grew to offer a variety of products to convenience stores, restaurants, universities, dining halls, vending services and independent grocers, the news release said.

The larger space will help the business improve its efficiency, as well as show off a new virtual convenience store and test kitchen, W. Scott Thomasson, Layman’s vice president of sales, purchasing and warehouse operations, said in the release.

“Our vision is to become the preeminent C-store and food distributor in the Mid-Atlantic region, and now that vision has an opportunity to be realized,” Thomasson said.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Salem and the Roanoke Regional Partnership on the project and will support Layman’s job creation through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program, the release said.

“Layman Distributing is a homegrown Virginia company that has found success for 75 years in the City of Salem, demonstrating the strength of the Commonwealth’s strategic location, world-class infrastructure, robust workforce, and innovative supply chain ecosystem,” Youngkin said. “The Roanoke region provides a convenient gateway to reach target customer markets, and this expansion will allow Layman to further extend its distribution reach. We look forward to a continued partnership with the company for years to come.”

Matt Busse is the business reporter for Cardinal News. Matt spent nearly 19 years at The News & Advance,...