A ribbon cutting ceremony was held for the opening of the new 400,000-square-foot expansion at the Tony’s and Red Baron pizza-making facility as the Red Baron flew above.
Company leaders joined government and civic officials in Salina to celebrate the completion of a project that took more than two years.
The project includes state-of-the-art pizza production lines capable of making 100 million pizzas a year, shipping and receiving docks, and office space.
Schwan’s Company is a subsidiary of South Korean food maker, CJ CheilJedang and noted that they selected Salina as the location for this expansion due to the dedicated existing work force, among other variables. With the competition of this expansion and the expansion plans that are to come, Salina is home to the largest frozen pizza production plant in the world.
Schwan’s first began operating a pizza plant in Salina in April 1970, when it acquired the Tony’s® pizza brand and plant from a Salina businessman. Employees at the facility continue to produce Tony’s® and Red Baron® pizzas for grocery stores and food-service venues that include schools nationwide
During Schwan’s ownership of the plant, the facility has grown from just 18,000 square feet to nearly 1 million square feet. The facility has seen more than 80 additions over the past 50 years.
The company has no plans to slow its growth in Salina. In November, Schwan’s Company announced its intention to more than double the size of its distribution center space in Salina. The new 140,000-square-foot distribution center project, which is expected to begin this year and be completed in early 2025, will expand the total distribution center space at the facility to 245,000 square feet.
The new distribution center will be used to store food produced by employees at the company’s pizza plant. The state-of-the-art facility will include a 38,000-pallet-position racking system with three automated pallet cranes. The company’s overall manufacturing facility and distribution-center footprint will exceed 1 million square feet upon completion.