BEDFORD, Va. -

Don't let the outside fool you.

The old Winn Dixie grocery store building on Blue Ridge Avenue in Bedford may look empty and abandoned, but the inside is buzzing with activity.

Central Virginia Manufacturing has come a long way since opening last April.

"There was no equipment," explained Chris Markham, head of operations for Central Virginia Manufacturing.  "We had no electrical, no air, nothing."

Today, the company has 18 full-time employees, fabricating metal products for a variety of clients.

"Things are really starting to blossom for us," said Dave Hanowitz, sales manager for Central Virginia Manufacturing.  "We're keeping everyone full-time, if not overtime, and we're actually looking to expand now."

The company primarily builds cabinets for a company based in Canada.

It's an example of "in-sourcing."

"It's getting easier to compete with China, when you look at the total picture," Markham said.

Companies in North America are finding that it's cheaper to manufacturer certain products in the United States, versus buying and shipping those items from overseas.

Markham and Hanowitz have built their company to take advantage of the growing demand for American made goods.

A company called Lite Sheet, which makes LED light panels, will move to Bedford in a few months.  The metal casing for those products will be made by Central Virginia Manufacturing, which beat out a Chinese company for the production contract.

"That work is going to come back from China and be made right here in Bedford, shipped to a high-tech company on the other side of town and then shipped out all over the country," Markham explained.

The company is producing work for local clients, too.

Initially, Central Virginia Manufacturing was only making cabinets for their Canadian partner, but their production has reached a level where they can take on small orders at home.

"We hope to build a long-term list of clients, which will ultimately keep this company going for years to come," Hanowitz said.