The new facility will enable Rumiano to expand its current headquarter operations in Willows and to double its current packaging volume by the end of 2025 as retail demand grows.
The company will be able to increase its processing and distribution capacity and will introduce additional product lines and capabilities for new retail package types including shreds and snacks. The expansion also bolsters Rumiano’s ability to scale its cutting and packaging business for other West Coast cheesemakers and its Board at Home program, which supports California’s artisanal community.
The new site will occupy four acres of a new 38-acre commercial industrial park being developed by the city of Willows. The facility is expected to be operational by the second quarter of 2021.
“The city’s assistance with this industrial development site made it possible for us to remain here in Willows where we’ve been successfully operating for 101 years,” said John Rumiano, vice president and third-generation co-owner at Rumiano Cheese Company.
Construction is being supported by a $1.8m economic development grant from the city of Willows, along with private funding. Rumiano will retain all 150 current employees and is recruiting for additional employees to support the new plans. Rumiano currently employs more than 200 people between its production plant in Crescent City, California where the cheese is made, and Willows.
The company will move most of its packaging operations to the new facility and the existing Willows plant will be renovated for cheese aging and storage as well as a range of small-batch value-added processing. A new R&D space will be created for innovation in new products and packaging.
“Our new facility along with equipment upgrades and cutting-edge technology is going to provide a footprint for growth for years to come,” said Joe Baird, Rumiano Cheese Company’s CEO.
“As we push the boundaries of our product innovations and significantly increase our efficiencies, we’re also going to be able to give our employees more opportunities for advancement and career development.”
In line with Rumiano’s commitment to reducing energy usage and carbon dioxide emissions through sustainable and eco-friendly practices that mitigate the effects of climate change, the new Willows plant, like the company’s existing facilities, will run on 100% renewable solar energy generated on-site. The new plant will also be Safe Quality Food standards (SQF) certified.