Cheese and ice cream makers invest in new facilities
Biery Cheese cut the ribbon on a production facility in Plover, Wis., in August. The fourth‐generation cheesemaker based in Louisville, Ohio, plans to increase output at the plant. Biery acquired the plant when it purchased Basic American Foods in April 2014. In November 2013, Biery acquired the Kickapoo Valley Cheese Co. of Sherry, Wis.
Since the acquisitions, Biery has been making capital improvements to the Plover plant. Approximately 140 employees of Kickapoo’s Sherry plant will be moving to the Plover facility in September, which will be led by plant manager, David Bohman.
The Biery-Plover facility offers services including slicing and packaging cheese in shingles and stacks, party trays, cubes, chunks and wedges. The operation works with natural cheeses as well as with a variety of specialty, organic, kosher, and rBGH-free cheeses.
Another Ohio-based dairy, Velvet Ice Cream Co., said it is building a 21,000-square-foot facility state-of-the-art warehouse freezer distribution facility next to its ice cream plant in Utica. The $3 million project will more than double the company’s freezing and picking capacity. The company made the official announcement in August. Dairy Foods reported the need for the warehouse in its article published in the October 2014 issue.
In a press release, Velvet Ice Cream President Luconda Dager said the company is “early at capacity with our existing distribution facility. This new development allows us to improve sustainability, sharpen efficiencies and produce more delicious Velvet Ice Cream in order to meet increased demand.”
She said the company’s annual revenues have increased from $25 million in 2009 to more than $30 million in 2014. The new distribution facility will require the addition of eight new employees in its picking and shipping operations. Environmentally friendly design, motion-controlled energy-efficient lighting, state-of-the-art insulating panels and high-speed automated doors will minimize the company’s carbon footprint.