OOSTBURG — Masters Gallery Foods announced plans Tuesday to build a new packaging and distribution facility in Oostburg.
The new facility will allow the company to drive continued growth of their private brand retail and food service cheese offerings sold throughout the country and will support the company’s original plant and corporate headquarters in Plymouth.
“We’re thrilled to be embarking on our second production facility. It’s a proud moment for the company and all our associates, and we hope it’s exciting for the local community as well,” said Jeff Gentine, CEO and co-owner of Masters Gallery Foods.
The Oostburg plant will be built on a nearly 40-acre parcel of land recently acquired by the Village which will be annexed into the adjacent Business Park. While the design is still being finalized, Phase One of construction is expected to be roughly 150,000 square feet. The master site plan will accommodate two additional expansions for a total footprint of approximately 350,000 square feet. Groundwork and site preparation for Phase One is expected to begin next spring, with occupancy by early 2018.
The new production facility represents a significant investment in Sheboygan County and the surrounding community. The estimated $30 million facility is expected to result in roughly 120 new jobs over the next two or three years while the master plan has the potential to create an additional 200 or more jobs. Oostburg was deemed an ideal location thanks to its proximity to Interstate 43 and the ability to attract new employees from both the north and south.
“We explored building out of state, but after a thorough analysis we determined that expanding in our backyard was best,” said Gentine. “Maintaining our company culture is paramount, and the workforce in Wisconsin, particularly in Sheboygan County, is second to none, especially when it comes to the dairy business. We can’t replicate that anywhere else.”
The Wisconsin and upper Midwest cheese supply continues to grow as well, so increasing capacity near steady, high quality supply was another strong consideration for the company and its expanding customer base who rely on quality cheese.
The company’s main production facility in Plymouth was originally built in 1989. Starting off at a modest 40,000 square feet, the plant has increased in size over three expansions to approximately 310,000 square feet. Today, the company runs multiple production lines for shredding, slicing, chunking and sticking of natural cheese, and employs nearly 600 associates company-wide.