Great Lakes Cheese to invest $55m to build new plant in Wausau, Wisconsin


US-based Great Lakes Cheese (GLC) has revealed plans to build a new cheese packaging plant at the Wausau West Industrial Park in Wisconsin with an investment of $55m. 

The company signed an agreement with the city authorities and intends to start construction of its new plant later this month. 

Under the agreement, GLC will receive a tax incentive of $5.9m from Wausau city's authority in the form of a ten-year reverse TIF to help offset the cost of building the new facility.

GLC will also donate the property site of its existing plant in DeVoe Street to Wausau.

GLC project manager Matt Wilkinson said: "We are grateful to the City of Wausau for its significant contribution to our project.

"This assistance makes it possible for GLC to remain in Wausau, where our cheese business has a 90-year history."

"This assistance makes it possible for GLC to remain in Wausau, where our cheese business has a 90-year history."

In 2003, GLC acquired Lemke Cheese & Packaging, and has since made significant investments in the DeVoe Street plant, which currently employs more than 200 people.

Alongside construction jobs, the company expects to add 125 new jobs within three years of completing the new facility.

GLC employees will also have an ownership stake in the company under its employee stock ownership plan (ESOP).

Great Lakes Cheese CEO Dan Zagzebski said: "It is part of GLC's culture to take a long-term approach to every business decision. 

"We think in terms of generations, not quarters. Looking through a long-term lens allows us to focus not only on what will make us more competitive, but also on what's right for our employees and our communities."

Currently, GLC owns nine plants across five states in the US that supply cheese. It is privately owned by the Epprecht Family and has over 2,600 employees.