Yogurt manufacturer Chobani LLC, Norwich, N.Y., said it broke ground on a 70,000-square-foot expansion at its yogurt plant in Twin Falls, Idaho — the world's largest yogurt plant. The new innovation and community center will serve employees and guests and house the company's global research and development team.

"I'm grateful for the specialness we share with the people of the Magic Valley," said Hamdi Ulukaya, founder and CEO, Chobani. "Twin Falls is one of those special places where there's a strong entrepreneurial mindset, the people are incredible, and a handshake truly means something.

“It's a special ecosystem when it comes to food making,” Ulukaya continued. “Our home in Idaho is not only a celebration of our employees and our community, but is also a space to inspire creativity, drive even more innovation and take us further on our mission to bring better food to more people."

Inspired by the nature of the Magic Valley, the center represents the future of U.S. manufacturing — with some 30,000 square feet of glass, putting transparency and sunlight at the center of its design. Employees will be able to exercise in the 2,000-square-foot fitness center overlooking the Sawtooth Mountains and gather at a sun-filled space for shared meals and relaxation, Chobani said. A dedicated visitor entrance will welcome the Magic Valley community to learn more about the company's history of growth in Twin Falls, as well as its commitment to participating in local initiatives.

"It's been great to watch Chobani become part of the fabric of our Magic Valley communities over the past four years," said Idaho Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter. "This new investment in Twin Falls reflects Chobani's commitment to Idaho and to the people who have responded so positively to its corporate citizenship. Congratulations to all those who are contributing to Chobani's growth, just as Chobani is contributing to ours."

Committed to creating jobs and economic opportunity where it operates, Chobani said it hired local architects and engineers to design this facility and brought on local contractors and workers to build it. Since installing the world's largest yogurt plant in Twin Falls in 2013, Chobani has made a positive impact in the local economy by stimulating new jobs and encouraging other businesses to invest in the region. In 2016, Chobani announced a $100 million expansion of its manufacturing plant to invest in new production lines and products, and to support distribution to international markets.  

The new facility will come online in summer 2018. For more information and to access visuals of the center, visit www.chobani.com/twinfalls.