Signed, sealed and delivered. The development deal between artisan cheese producer Emmi Roth USA and the City of Platteville was approved by the Platteville Common Council during a special meeting on April 2.
The deal clears the way for the construction of a $14 million facility, with a total project value, including facilities and dairy processing equipment of $44 million. The facility will be built in the city's industrial park on Enterprise Drive, between Vision Drive and Evergreen Road.
Emmi Roth will employ a minimum of 30 full-time employees, with an average starting salary of $17.50 per hour, including benefits.
According to Mike Green, project manager with Emmi Roth and the future plant manager, the employees who are hired will train in Monroe.
Green explained the milk quality for their cheese is the key. He said they will get at least 80 percent of their milk from Wisconsin. "My preference would be from smaller family farms," said Green. "Milk supply is critical for artisanal cheeses."
The city is offering $2 million in cash grants up front, with a possible $1.6 million of financial assistance as the company expands.
The first phase of the plant will produce eight million pounds of cheese each year. If the complete expansion is fulfilled, the facility will produce 23 million pounds of cheese annually.
The facility is expected to be operational by July 1, 2013.
If Emmi Roth does not expand fully within 10 years, the city may buy back, at the original price, the land that was not utilized for expansion.
As previously reported, Emmi Roth USA has experienced 20 percent growth over the last 15 years. The company surpassed $180 million in sales last year and is expected to reach $400 million by 2015. Emmi Roth's parent company has been making cheese since 1868. In 1991, Emmi Roth bought a cheese plant in Monroe. That facility started with 18 employees and now employs 186 people.
Emmi Roth also entered a joint venture with White Hill Cheese in Shullsburg in 2010.