CHARLOTTE – Plant-based barbecue producer Barveque will expand its footprint and employee base in Cornelius, in the Lake Norman region near Charlotte, with what it’s calling “the world’s largest plant-based smokehouse.” How’s that for a new kind of pig pickin’?

The company disclosed the new earlier this week.

The approximately 10,000 square foot facility, to be named the Carolina Smokehouse, will open in July 2021, said the company. It plans to continue operating in its current facility that will eventually be turned into innovation space.

The company anticipates that it could produce 800,000 pounds of Barveque products as it scales up to meet surging demand.

“As we grow to keep up with demand for Barvecue products, we decided that it was time to expand production and lead the way in the plant-based barbecue market,” said Barveque founder and CEO Lee Cooper.

According to Future Marketing Insights (FMI), the global market for plant-based pork is projected to rise at a compound annual growth rate of 24 percent between 2020 and 2030.

“These products which were once thought as niche categories within the food sector have welcomed large investments from key investors of the industry,” the FMI research notes.

Barveque recently raised a seed round of $2 million, including from investor Stray Dog Capital, according to Crunchbase.

The company said it plans to close an additional $1 million from current investors later this month.

It is already producing products, which are non-GMO project verified and certified plant-based, and are available for retail purchase and for foodservice providers.

Barveque plans to hire 15 additional employees within the first year of opening its new facility.