Dairy cooperative Bongards Creameries, Chanhassen, Minn., will add 80,000 square feet to its 110,000-square-foot cheesemaking facility in Humboldt, Tenn. In addition, renovations and updates on the existing facility will also be conducted. The move will add 95 jobs.

CEO Keith Grove said the expansion will allow the co-op “to increase our overall production, packaging and processing capabilities and better serve our growing customer base in the Southeastern United States.”

The plant produces natural, processed and imitation cheeses.

Construction begins Aug. 1 and is scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2018. Bongards Creameries, a farmer-owned co-op founded in 1908 in Bongards, Minn., is one of the largest global suppliers of cheese. 

The company ranks No. 53 on the Dairy 100, this magazine’s list of the largest dairy processors in Minnesota. It is one of nine dairy processors from Minnesota in the Dairy 100. The co-op reported 2016 finished product sales of $550 million and 2015 sales of $500 million. Five years ago (2012) sales were $414 million. The co-op’s dairy farmers are based in Minnesota and North Dakota. Bongards employs over 450 people in its three plants and corporate headquarters. 

The company’s other facilities are in Bongards, Minn., and Perham, Minn. In 2015, Bongards completed a $45 million expansion to the Perham plant.

In addition to the Humboldt plant expansion, Grove said the company is expanding its corporate offices in Chanhassen, after just six months in the new office space. The 12,000-square-foot addition is slated to be completed by year end. 

“This is an exciting time for our company and represents the commitment to quality that our farmers, employees and partners have shared for more than a century,” said Chief Financial Officer Chris Freeman. 

Bongards is a vertically integrated, global cheese supplier that produces hundreds of millions of pounds of natural cheese, process cheese, cream cheese and whey each year. Bongards’ cheeses are selected by many of the country’s largest foodservice operators and food manufacturers and by foodservice distributors across the world. Its cheeses can be found in commercial restaurants, K-12 schools, retail delis and C-stores, among others.