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Sargento Foods Plans $30 Million Expansion At Its Kiel And Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, Production Hubs

Sargento Foods Inc. is investing $30 million to expand its production facility in Kiel and its technical center in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. As result of the project, about 140 jobs are expected to be created at those two facilities, as well as at the company’s corporate headquarters in Plymouth.

A third-generation company that is a leading manufacturer, packager and marketer of natural shredded, sliced and snack cheeses and other foods, Sargento is planning an 80,000-square-foot expansion of its Kiel production facility. It marks the third major expansion of that plant, which opened in 1993. Sargento natural shredded, sliced and snack cheeses, cheese dips and battered and breaded frozen appetizers are produced at this location.

The expansion would include additional space for production, storage and employee facilities, including a health and wellness center and additional locker space to accommodate up to 720 employees during the next five years. The plant currently employs 540 people.

In Elkhart Lake, the company is undertaking a 59,000-square-foot expansion of its it technical center, which will more than double the size of the facility and provide new space for engineering, research and product development operations.

“My grandfather and father built Sargento from a small cheese gift shop into the $1.3 billion national company it is today, thanks to the dedication and hard work of our employees over the past 62 years,” said company CEO Louie Gentine. “We are committed to growth in this area that will benefit the entire Sargento family of employees and all of our other stakeholders—suppliers, customers and community.”

Under the terms of the agreement with Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, Sargento will be eligible for up to $735,000 in tax credits to support expansion of its two facilities in Kiel and Elkhart Lake through the end of 2018. As is the case with all Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation awards, the actual amount of credits received will be contingent upon the number of jobs created during that time.

“WEDC is pleased to be able to assist an iconic family-owned company like Sargento Foods with this expansion project, and we salute the company for its continued commitment to growing in Wisconsin,” said Reed Hall, Secretary/CEO of WEDC, the state’s lead economic development organization. “Wisconsin is the number one cheese-producing state in the country with an annual production of nearly 2.8 billion pounds, and this expansion will further solidify our strength in this key industry.”
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