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AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Cacique broke ground on a new dairy processing facility in Southwest Amarillo on Thursday, as the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation hosted the ceremony.

The Office of Governor Greg Abbott (R-Texas) said on Wednesday the new facility will create 187 jobs and $88 million in capital investments. They also said Texas Enterprise Fund grants of $1,132,000 were extended to the company.

“We’re just really excited about Cacique picking Amarillo and us picking them,” said Kevin Carter, President and CEO of the AEDC.

Cacique CEO Gil de Cardenas said he wants to expand the company his parents started to a wider market, as they build the fourth facility in Amarillo. He said this move will help them reach the rest of the U.S. more efficiently.

“This will be very important for us. This is a pivot point for our business to really build it onto the rest of the country because of where we are centered in California,” de Cardenas said at the groundbreaking. “It’s hard to reach the East because of just distribution costs and the cost of doing business in California a little higher, but more, I think it’s a distribution piece.”

He said what made Amarillo stand out from similar options was the community.

“From the moment we got here, the very first time it felt different in the sense that, the way we were welcomed, the way we were treated,” de Cardenas said. “We were treated like family, and that we came across really well to us.”

Executive Director of Texas Economic Development and Tourism in the office of Gov. Abbott, Adriana Cruz, said this is a win, not just for the Amarillo area, but for the state.

“I think that this is going to provide some great paying jobs for the citizens,” Cruz said. “It’s also going to help to diversify the economy. We’ve seen a lot of interest in Texas in terms of food manufacturing and so this is just going to solidify our position in that industry.”

De Cardenas said his parents started Cacique in 1973 and they still make authentic Mexican-style cheeses, crema, and chorizo.

“…my dad was the salesperson. My mom was the cheesemaker and it was just a two of them,” de Cardenas said. “From there, if you leap forward, the company has gone through a lot of growth over the years to get to where we are today.”

He said it comes down to Cacique’s four values: Integrity, authenticity, quality, and family.

“The fact that all our people have bought into that, without the team at Cacique, we couldn’t be here today,” de Cardenas added.

The AEDC said the facility will be built and those jobs will be added in the next year.

THE Dairy Industry Code of Conduct has brought about a “significant culture change” within the dairy sector and helped increase competition at the farmgate, according to Australian Competition & Consumer Commission deputy chair Mick Keogh.

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