Hispanic Cheese Makers-Nuestro Queso has expanded its facility in Kent, Illinois.
The $15m investment includes new processing and packaging equipment, expanded cooler space and additional capacity to meet demand for further expansion in the future.
The expansion project was needed to meet increased demand for the company’s Mexican, Caribbean, and Central American cheeses and cremas. The project is the latest phase of a strategic investment plan that began two years ago when Hispanic Cheese Makers developed its long-term sustainability initiatives and related investments.
The expansion project will provide upgrades to its processing and packaging lines to improve operational efficiencies, add capacity and further improve food safety.
In addition to modifications to the plant’s existing facility, the company is adding new cooler space and blast cooling capabilities. This expansion phase will address bottlenecks of cooler space for finished goods. The separate cooler space allows the company to work on the upgrades without disrupting operations. The company will be adding additional loading docks and has made investments in the land around its facility for future expansion.
Despite issues due to the pandemic, Hispanic Cheese Makers said it was important to make the investment as its plant expansion will benefit the local economy at a time when most companies are scaling back.