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August 24, 2017

Origin USA plans to double workforce with new Farmington factory

Courtesy / Origin USA
Courtesy / Origin USA
Joe Paridis, father-in-law of Origin USA President Pete Roberts, cuts the ribbon at Wednesday's ceremony marking the opening of the company's new manufacturing plant in Farmington.

Origin USA, a martial-arts wear manufacturer that began selling jiu jitsu apparel in Industry in 2011, plans to more than double its workforce after opening a new manufacturing plant in Farmington on Wednesday.

The grand opening of the 20,000-square-foot plant in a former Central Maine Power building on High Street came after a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant award and merger with Jocko Industries. President and owner Pete Roberts said he expects to expand from 15 employees to 35 over the next 12 months and invest "into the workforce to enhance low- to moderate-income populations."

"We are expecting, at a minimum, 100% growth year over year for the next five years," Roberts said.

The company has invested more than $1 million in tools, machinery and hardware for the new plant, including 200 sewing machines.

Roberts, a New Sharon native and jiu jitsu enthusiast, began the business in 2011, importing martial arts wear. In 2013, he opened the Industry manufacturing plant, opting to make the apparel rather than import it. In 2014, the company also began weaving the textiles it uses in manufacturing the apparel.

The company is "dedicated to vertically integrated manufacturing," Roberts said. "I didn't want to send money overseas anymore," he said in a news release. "So I dedicated myself and the business to 100% sourcing and manufacturing right here at home."

The company not only manufactures performance gear, but also nutritional supplements and it markets and sells what it produces. The Farmington manufacturing plant will include a retail pro shop.

He said with the "masterful mind and reach" of Jocko Willink, who owns Jocko Industries, "we can anticipate even greater growth."

Willink owns Jocko Industries, which sells performance apparel and gear. A management consultant and former Navy SEAL, he also owns a martial arts gym and a beverage company, authored the book "Extreme Ownership" and hosts a podcast.

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