Cheesemaker plans $20M expansion in Plover - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Cheesemaker plans $20M expansion in Plover

PORTAGE COUNTY (WAOW) - An Ohio-based cheese company is expanding in north central Wisconsin.

The Biery Cheese Company will move from the town of Sherry in Wood County to a bigger facility in Portage County.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation said in a statement it will loan Biery Cheese $1M for the move. But that's just a part of a much bigger investment the company plans to make.

Biery Cheese plans to pour almost $20M into the area.

"There's a lot of excitement in the area about Biery Cheese coming to Portage County," said Lori Dehlinger, the executive director of the Portage County Business Council.

The company will expand to an old food plant in Plover.

"When Basic American Foods closed up, there was a lot of job loss, and people were concerned about where that was going to go," Dehlinger said.

Those people may now have an answer.

"Biery Cheese is expecting to have about 111 jobs that they retain and 31 new jobs that they'll create," said Dehlinger.

If it does that, the company won't have to pay back the million dollar loan it's receiving from the WEDC.

Business leaders in Portage County say the family-owned cheese company will be a perfect fit.

"You're talking directly with that owner," Dehlinger said. "They're local. They're invested. Those are the types of people that sit on our board of directors and help grow the community."

Dehlinger says she still has questions about what's next, but she's optimistic.

"We look for things like this to happen and it doesn't happen every day so to get the jobs back in the community is great," she said.

The company's CEO said Tuesday the expansion will allow for Biery Cheese to grow in many ways.

Biery Cheese was founded in 1929 in Louisville, Ohio. The company, in its fourth generation of family ownership, said it has evolved from a Swiss cheese manufacturing company to one that now provides chunks, shreds, slices, diced, cubes and snacking cheeses.
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