WAUSAU, Wis., July 19, 2017 (PRNewswire) — Great Lakes Cheese (GLC) has reached an agreement with the City of Wausau to build a new cheese packaging plant in the Wausau West Industrial Park. As part of the agreement the City of Wausau will contribute $5.9 million in tax incentives in the form of a 10 year reverse TIF to help offset the cost of building the new facility in Wausau. Great Lakes Cheese will donate to the City of Wausau the property where its current plant is located on DeVoe Street.
Under this agreement, GLC will make a significant investment in Wausau by building a $55 million state-of-the-art facility. Groundbreaking for the new facility will occur in late July.
"We are grateful to the City of Wausau for its significant contribution to our project," said Matt Wilkinson, GLC's project manager. "This assistance makes it possible for GLC to remain in Wausau, where our cheese business has a 90-year history." GLC acquired Lemke Cheese & Packaging in 2003 and has since made considerable investments in the DeVoe Street plant, where more than 200 workers are employed.
In addition to the construction jobs, GLC anticipates adding at least 125 new jobs within three years of completing the new facility. "We are grateful that we can remain in Wausau because we have a strong commitment to our employees here," Wilkinson said. GLC employees have an ownership interest in the company through its Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).
"It is part of GLC's culture to take a long-term approach to every business decision," CEO Dan Zagzebski said. "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."
Great Lakes Cheese was founded in 1958 by Swiss immigrant Hans Epprecht, who began a neighborhood cheese-delivery business in Cleveland, Ohio. Today, Great Lakes Cheese has nine plants spanning five states, and supplies cheese coast to coast. The company remains privately owned by the Epprecht Family and its more than 2,600 dedicated employees. More information: www.greatlakescheese.com.