TILLAMOOK, Ore. — Tillamook County Creamery Association, the farmer-owned dairy co-op and Certified B Corporation behind the fastest-growing family-size ice cream brand in the U.S., on Tuesday announced plans to open an ice cream manufacturing facility in Decatur, Illinois, in late 2024.
The Decatur facility will be TCCA's first owned and operated manufacturing facility outside of Oregon and will be TCCA's only facility solely dedicated to ice cream production. TCCA also owns and operates two manufacturing facilities in Oregon that are primarily dedicated to cheese production. The Decatur ice cream plant will manufacture Tillamook family-size (48 oz.) ice cream as well as Tillamook foodservice ice cream (3 gallon).
"Consumer demand for Tillamook Ice Cream has grown exponentially over the past several years," said Mike Bever, executive vice president of operations, TCCA. "This new facility is an investment in our continued national expansion plans. We are proud to be able to expand our manufacturing footprint even further as another step toward bringing Tillamook to more fans around the country."
The Decatur plant was previously owned by Prairie Farms, which also used the location for ice cream production until closing the facility in early 2022. TCCA will spend the next 18 to 24 months updating the plant to bring it up to TCCA's manufacturing quality standards, with a goal of October 2024 for the first full ice cream production run. The new plant is expected to create approximately 45 new jobs in the Decatur community.
"Tillamook's plans to operate here are very exciting for our community and we are proud that another company has chosen Decatur for their first Midwest facility," said Decatur Mayor Julie Moore Wolfe. "This project also advances Neighborhood Revitalization, as the now-empty building along the MLK corridor will again be a bustling part of our economy as soon as next year."
TCCA's headquarters are in Oregon, where the co-op's farmer-owners and many employees live and work. The company's existing manufacturing operations in both Tillamook and Boardman, Oregon, will continue to operate with no plans to reduce production or the expanding employee base at either location.
"Opening this Illinois manufacturing location will enable us to make more of our ice cream closer to the eastern U.S., where demand for our ice cream is growing fast. In the last year, we've added 1.6M households and grown ice cream sales nearly 60% in the eastern U.S.," Bever said. "Ultimately our continued growth is a 'win' for who and what matters most to us. It allows us to continue to generate meaningful profits for our farmer-owners, create growth and well-being opportunities for our 900+ employees and to give back to the communities where we live and work. Now we get to welcome Decatur into that valued group."
"Tillamook is a fantastic company that will fit in perfectly here," said Economic Development Corporation of Decatur-Macon County President Nicole Bateman. "It's no surprise they selected Decatur for expansion due to our strong business climate, affordable utilities and excellent location with access to a huge base of new customers in the Midwest."
Tillamook dairy products are currently available in all 50 states across the U.S., including in Illinois and in the Decatur area. TCCA will begin recruiting to fill positions at its new Decatur facility later in 2023 and early in 2024.