Great Lakes Cheese breaks ground on $184.5m Texas cheese plant

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

A rendering of the new Great Lakes Cheese facility in Abilene, Texas. Pic: Great Lakes Cheese
A rendering of the new Great Lakes Cheese facility in Abilene, Texas. Pic: Great Lakes Cheese

Related tags Cheese Texas

Great Lakes Cheese (GLC) and the Development Corporation of Abilene (DCOA) have marked the official groundbreaking of a 286,500 square foot cheese packaging and distribution plant that is expected to employ 500 people in Abilene, Texas.

State and local officials were in attendance to break ground and officially welcome Ohio-based Great Lakes Cheese to its newest home.

Family- and employee-owned, Great Lakes Cheese celebrated its 60th year of business in 2018. Through its employee stock ownership plan, all employees have a stake in the business and share in the rewards.

“Great Lakes Cheese is exactly the kind of company the DCOA and DevelopAbilene partners work to bring to our city,”​ said Misty Mayo, president and CEO of the DCOA.

“This is a great cultural fit and the type of project that will ensure the viability of this community for years to come. Together we are building the Abilene of the future.”

Last month, the DCOA board of directors and Abilene City Council approved a $33.3m incentive package funded by the DCOA. In addition to the funding provided by the DCOA, the project received a Veteran’s Fund and a Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF) grant from the office of Governor Abbott.

Jack Rich, chairman of the DCOA board, said, “For every dollar the DCOA has invested in GLC, the company will invest $12 back into the community through initial capital investment, property taxes, school taxes, sales taxes and wages over the next 10 years.”

The company has a national footprint with facilities in Ohio, New York, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin – with more than 2m square feet of production space and more than 100 production lines. As the country’s largest natural cheese packager, GLC serves grocery, club, and super stores, restaurant chains, and foodservice distributors.

“The project is estimated to generate $1.3bn in total projected economic impact over the next 10 years,”​ said Mayor Anthony Williams.

Great Lakes Cheese is a manufacturer and packager of natural and processed bulk, shredded, and sliced cheeses. Abilene’s strategic location in south central US with access to major highways was a key factor in the location of GLC’s new facility.

“This groundbreaking marks the beginning of our generational commitment to Abilene,”​ CEO Dan Zagzebski said.

“Great Lakes Cheese’s expansion into Texas represents our dedication to provide exceptional service to our customers. We look forward to investing in this great community and our Abilene employee-owners.”

Related topics Manufacturers Cheese Emerging Markets

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