Expansion to enhance efficiency, better incorporate 21st century technology into family-owned business


PLYMOUTH, Wis. – Masters Gallery Foods, a leader in the private label, retail and food service cheese business, today announced it intends to build an $8 million addition to its Plymouth packaging and distribution facility, expanding the company’s ability to provide top-quality products to customers nationwide and potentially creating up to 40 new local jobs.


The expansion would approximately double the size of the existing Masters facility at 411 County Highway PP and enhance the company’s production, warehousing and shipping/distribution capabilities, said Jeff Giffin, Masters Gallery Foods’ president and CEO.  The expansion is subject to approval by the Plymouth Plan Commission.  The company hopes to begin site development later this year and complete the expansion in late 2008, Giffin said.


“Masters Gallery Foods has seen significant growth over the past several years, and expanding our facility will help position our company for even further success in the national marketplace,” Giffin said.  “In addition to increasing our warehouse and distribution capabilities, the expansion will allow us to reconfigure manufacturing operations to enhance efficiency and better incorporate 21st century technology into our business.  It’s an exciting, dynamic time for our company – this proposed expansion is testament to that.”


Jeffrey Gentine, the company’s executive vice president and son of late company founder Leonard A. “Butch” Gentine, said his family is glad to be expanding Masters Gallery Foods’ presence in Plymouth.


“Plymouth has been Masters Gallery Foods’ home from the very beginning,” Gentine said.  “We’ve built a successful family business here, with a dedicated local workforce and some of the best cheese suppliers in the country.  We are proud to be part of the Plymouth community, and we are thrilled to be growing right here in our hometown.”


Masters’ existing plant was originally built in 1989 and expanded in 2000.  The company is working with the City of Plymouth on the possibility of establishing a Tax Incremental Finance (TIF) District to help pay for the expansion and related infrastructure and to help enhance neighboring properties.  


“We anticipate moving forward in the very near future and are certainly hopeful that a new TIF district will help Masters Gallery Foods complete our expansion goals,” Giffin said. 


Plymouth Mayor Don Pohlman said the TIF is important to making Masters’ new plans for growth a reality.


“Masters has been an important and committed part of the Plymouth community for many years, Pohlman said.  “Its presence has had a significant economic impact here.  Masters is a fine corporate citizen, and we are glad to see this Plymouth original succeed and grow.  This expansion is positive economic development that will add jobs, grow our local tax base, increase commerce and strengthen our city.”


Lisa Hurley, executive director of the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce, said that Masters’ expansion is evidence of the positive business climate in the Plymouth area.


“To have a longtime family company and corporate leader like Masters Gallery Foods announce a local expansion sends a strong message that there are some very exciting things happening here in Plymouth,” Hurley said. “This is great news for our community and for everyone who cares about a vibrant business climate in Plymouth.”


Masters Gallery Foods is a leading supplier of a full line of cheese-related products to many of the nation’s grocery chains, wholesalers and distributors.  Masters also specializes in the procurement, aging and distribution of bulk cheeses at a national level, and has been recognized on Deloitte & Touche’s Top 75 list of the top privately held businesses in Wisconsin.  The company employs approximately 220 people at its corporate headquarters and plant, both located in Plymouth.