Cooper Farms has completed a cold storage distribution center located at its turkey processing plant in St. Henry, Ohio. The new addition, which began construction in June of 2016, totals 90,000 square feet, and will provide an additional 15 jobs.
A grand opening ceremony for the new center was held on February 16, and the company is to begin transferring products to the facility soon.
“This new distribution center is an exciting step for all of us at Cooper Farms,” said Gary Cooper, chief operating officer. “We previously outsourced our cold storage, but the time was now right for us to do this ourselves, onsite.”
Features of the new facility
The state-of-the-art distribution center will provide refrigerated and frozen storage space for the company. Being able to handle this process on-site will prove to be more efficient and will pay for itself in just a few short years, the company stated in a press release. The distribution center will not only feature the much-needed refrigerator and freezer space, but also 14 new truck docks, office and team member welfare areas and a state-of-the-art food safety and quality lab, which is something that Quality Manager Doris Siefring is excited to see come to fruition.
“We’re growing and expanding and over the last few years our space has just started to not be enough,” Siefring said. “We doubled the square footage of our existing lab. If we wanted the newest and greatest technology, we had to increase our space.”
The distribution portion is split into two rooms. The cooler room has space for approximately 2,800 pallets, which will hold ready-to-eat product from the Cooked Meats Plant in Van Wert, Ohio. Those pallets will hold an estimated 1,400 pounds/skid for a total of 3.9 million pounds of ready-to-eat products stored in the cooler.
The freezer side will have the capacity to hold approximately 4,500 pallets and will be used to hold frozen value-added products such as burgers, roasts and commodity products produced at the St. Henry plant. That product will weigh around 1,200 pounds/skid for a total of 5.4 million pounds of product in the freezer.
Construction of the project was led by the Tippman Group, located in Fort Wayne, Indiana, which utilized many local contractors. The Tippman Group is a family-run company with over 40 years of experience, specializing in cold storage warehousing and customized distribution solutions.