Agência para o Investimento e Comércio Externo de Portugal


Sovena, a Portugal-based leader in olive and other oils, will open a Modesto plant for packing and shipping some of its products.

The company plans to employ 27 people when the plant at 705 E. Whitmore Ave. hits full speed in the first quarter of 2020, said Tyler Richardson, chief business services officer at Opportunity Stanislaus, by phone Tuesday. This economic development outfit will host a Dec. 4 hiring event for Sovena.


The company will be next to Entekra, a fast-growing prefabricator of building materials, in the industrial area in south Modesto.

Sovena is one of the world’s leading olive oil producers, from groves in Portugual, Spain and Morocco. It also makes sunflower, corn and other oils, along with table olives, soap and biodiesel.


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Modesto is Sovena’s second entry into the United States, following a Rome, N.Y., location for oils. The company reported about $1.5 billion in sales in 2018 and employs about 1,200 people in seven countries.


Stanislaus County is an area with a long history of food processing, and we have the tools necessary for companies to succeed, from a strong workforce to the support of local leadership,” said David White, chief executive officer at Opportunity Stanislaus.


The hiring event will be for jobs that include a maintenance mechanic, a production supervisor and general production staff. It will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Opportunity Stanislaus, 1625 I St., Modesto.


Applicants should send resumes as soon as possible to Sharon Pohl at More information is at 209-488-4525.


California is not a major producer of olive oil, despite a climate similar to the Mediterranean countries that dominate the industry.

Modesto does have Nick Sciabica & Sons, which was founded in 1936 and is among the state’s leading olive oil makers. Several smaller companies also produce it in the Northern San Joaquin Valley and nearby Sierra Nevada foothills.