The last drop of ketchup has been bottled, and the final can of tomatoes have been sealed in Leamington.

 H.J. Heinz has been a staple in the community for 105-years. Generations of hard working Leamington residents have cycled through the company – creating a legacy, but on Friday it all ends.

 Emotions were high, as many punched out of their final shift at 10 p.m. Thursday night. Employees will take the day on Friday to tie up loose ends and empty their lockers, before the doors close for good, as a Heinz facility, at 5 p.m.

 The closure was announced on Nov. 14, 2013 and affects 740 full-time employees. Seasonal employees, the farming community and suppliers will also be affected.

 Workers will receive two week’s pay for every year of service, with no cap. The closure agreement also includes 52 weeks of health care and a productivity bonus of $2,500. UFCW Canada Local 0459 was able to secure $50,000 for benefits for workers retiring this year.

A $1.8 million deal has been reached between Heinz and Leamington area tomato grower. The contract was unanimously agreed upon by all 43 tomato farmers. This roughly amounts to $41,860 per farmer.

As old equipment is packed up, new equipment is being unboxed. Since the closure was announced, several community leaders, including Leamington Mayor John Paterson have worked diligently to try and fill the hole now left by Heinz.

 On Feb. 25, a letter of intent was signed by Highbury Canco Corporation to act as a co-packer for Heinz out of the Leamington facility. The deal means 250 hourly and salary jobs will be created.  Earlier this month, the company received 435 applications – production is expected to start this summer.

 Paterson believes Highbury Canco is the first step in moving forward, and says the company may create more positions as soon as early 2015.

 But for now, many in the town say they will come together and recover as a community.