November 1, 2011

Leprino cranks up first portion of cheese facility

Leprino Foods has begun dairy production at its long-awaited new facility in Greeley.

The facility was scheduled to open today, but Leprino spokesman Ted Wietecha said production started on Halloween.

“We ran some preliminary tests last week to make sure everything was ready and decided to open on a Monday,” he said.

The facility, located just southeast of downtown Greeley, now employs about 100 workers who are producing non-fat dry milk in the first of three phases of building construction.

Wietecha said the work is being done in about 130,000 square feet of a facility that will eventually encompass well over 500,000 square feet.

Construction continues on Phase 2 of the facility, which is expected to open in November 2012, Wietecha said. About 200 more people will be hired for that phase beginning in February, he said.

About 500 people will be employed at the facility when all three phases are complete.

Wietecha said the facility is beginning to use milk provided by the Dairy Farmers of America cooperative.

“We are currently ramping up the milk volume over the next couple of weeks,” he said. When Phase 1 is fully operational, the facility will consume about 1.5 million pounds of milk per day.

At final build-out, it’s estimated the facility will consume up to 7 million pounds of milk per day to produce mozzarella cheese, nonfat dry milk and other dairy products.

Wietecha said Leprino, based in Denver, does not do grand openings or engage in such fanfare when a new site opens.

“We did not do a ribbon-cutting,” he said. “We decided to just get it up and running and put people to work.”

Leprino Foods has begun dairy production at its long-awaited new facility in Greeley.

The facility was scheduled to open today, but Leprino spokesman Ted Wietecha said production started on Halloween.

“We ran some preliminary tests last week to make sure everything was ready and decided to open on a Monday,” he said.

The facility, located just southeast of downtown Greeley, now employs about 100 workers who are producing non-fat dry milk in the first of three phases of building construction.

Wietecha said the work is being done in about 130,000 square feet of a facility that will eventually encompass well over 500,000 square feet.

Construction…

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