MORTON GROVE, ILL. — Lifeway Foods, Inc. has begun making kefir at the former Golden Guernsey dairy plant in Waukesha, Wis. Lifeway acquired the plant for $7.4 million in May 2013 to increase its manufacturing capacity. Lifeway said it has been processing raw milk and producing its own bottles at the plant for more than a year, following renovations as well as food safety certification of the upgraded facility.
The new 170,000-square-foot plant is expected to more than quintuple the combined manufacturing capacity of Lifeway’s three existing plants to support ongoing growth in the company’s kefir business. In addition to the facility in Waukesha, Lifeway operates manufacturing plants in Morton Grove and Niles, Ill., and Sauk Centre, Minn.
The Waukesha plant currently employs more than 40 people.
|Julie Smolyansky, president and c.e.o. of Lifeway Foods.|
“We acquired the Golden Guernsey plant because we urgently needed more production capacity,” said Julie Smolyansky, president and chief executive officer of Lifeway Foods. “Renovating the building to meet our specific manufacturing and packaging needs has been a top priority, and the start of kefir production in Waukesha is an important milestone that will help drive the next chapter in the company's growth.”Lifeway Foods is one of the nation’s largest suppliers of the probiotic fermented beverage known as kefir. In addition to its line of drinkable kefir, the company also produces frozen kefir, specialty cheeses and a ProBugs line for children. The company’s products are sold across the United States, Canada, Latin America and the United Kingdom.