We were honored to be named one of three finalists at the Wisconsin Economic Development Association’s (WEDA) Community and Economic Development Awards (CEDA) event last month! The Business Retention & Expansion Award recognizes economic development projects in which a community successfully mobilizes to retain and/or expand an existing business of great importance to the community. The Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery’s new Menomonie plant represents an investment of over $30 million, a collaboration with the City of Menomonie, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, along with the creation of 78 jobs, many of which were retained from our former location.
WEDA’s Community and Economic Development Awards (CEDA) is Wisconsin’s premier awards program for the economic development community. The Menomonie project was not an easy one, which makes this acknowledgment that much more meaningful to our organization! Keeping our existing location in operation while building the plant in Menomonie was a challenge. In addition, the ongoing effects of the pandemic, including supply chain issues and interrupted construction timelines, added uncertainty during the project and transition.
However, we put that all behind us when we accepted our first load of milk into the plant earlier this year. And with the opening of the adjoining retail store, our vision became reality! We couldn’t have done it without our great staff and many community and project partners. Thanks to this team effort, we look forward to many years of crafting quality cheese at this new facility.