PLYMOUTH, WIS. — The state of Wisconsin is investing in a $60 million Masters Gallery Foods expansion project. Gov. Tony Evers announced the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation will provide the cheese company with as much as $1.5 million in performance-based state tax credits.

A national cheese supplier, Masters Gallery Foods initiated the expansion project for its Oostburg, Wis., facility in 2021. The plans include a 110,000-square foot addition that will double the size of its production area at the site and provide the company with much more space for storage. As the new facility gets up and running, Masters Gallery Foods will add 105 new jobs, which the company stated will pay more than $23 per hour on average.

“Nobody knows dairy like Wisconsin, and I’m proud of our work and investments to ensure this industry continues to succeed and thrive for years to come,” Evers said. “This investment today not only supports the growth of Masters Gallery Foods, but new opportunities for good-paying, family-supporting jobs in the greater region.”

Masters Gallery Foods is headquartered in Plymouth, Wis., which many in the region refer to as the “Cheese Capital of the World,” with Masters Gallery, Sartori, Sargento and Great Lakes Cheese all conducting business in the city.

Jeff Gentine, Masters Gallery Foods president and chief executive officer, said the company has operated out of Sheboygan County since 1974 and the people within the company are “thrilled” to be able to expand.

“We’re very grateful for the financial support from the state and WEDC as we remain committed to investing within the community, providing long-term career opportunities for our team members while supporting the needs of our expanding customer base,” Gentine said.

A family-owned company, Masters Gallery also has a cheese packaging facility in Plymouth. The company boasts an extensive privately held cheese inventory, which serves private label, retail and food service customers.

Per the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, roughly 25% of all US cheese comes from Wisconsin, which produced 877 million pounds of specialty cheeses in 2021.

Missy Hughes, WEDC secretary and chief executive officer, said: “Cheese companies, such as Masters Gallery Foods, support our family dairy farms and help feed our world. More than that, though, Wisconsin companies and workers continue to move the dairy industry forward with innovations, research and training that make our state a leader in the food and beverage industry — drawing companies and investors from around the world.”