TREMONTON — West Liberty Foods has announced an expansion that will significantly increase its production of sliced meats and other deli products.
An addition to the existing plant will add more than 34,000 square feet of manufacturing and storage space to the facility. The expansion is scheduled to be completed in August and will likely bring additional jobs to the area.
The expansion, which will increase manufacturing capabilities by 10 million pounds annually, became necessary because of higher sales volumes, said Michelle Elizondo, marketing manager for the company, which is based in West Liberty, Iowa. Currently, the plant reaches 3.9 million pounds of production per week.
The Box Elder plant employs 530 people, making it, along with Malt-O-Meal, the largest employer in Tremonton.
David Milligan, human resources manager at the plant, said employees heard about the expansion through an internal memo. No numbers have been set, but he said the company is likely to add jobs.
“Anytime you add 10 million pounds of production, that will add people — which is good for Tremonton,” he said.
During the economic downturn of recent years, “West Liberty Foods has grown quite a bit,” Milligan added. “We’ve done pretty good, starting out with running two lines and now employing 530 people.”
West Liberty Foods specializes in sliced meats, as well as wings, chicken strips and other deli specialties. Its customers include Subway, Costco and Wal-Mart, said
Although the company was founded in the 1940s as the Lewis Rich brand, it’s a newcomer to Tremonton, with the plant built in 2007. The Tremonton facility is one of three plants the company owns; the other two are in Iowa.
Liberty Foods announced in September that it has achieved what it calls “landfill-free status,” meaning that less than 1 percent of its waste ends up in local landfills.
Shawn Warnke, Tremonton’s city manager, congratulated the company on that achievement. West Liberty Foods “has a great interest in our community and the environment and the affect their corporation has on Box Elder County,” he said.
“They’ve been a great business to have in Tremonton. The city appreciates what they’ve done for the community.”