Mann Packing Breaks Ground on New Gonzales, California Facility
- by Robert Schaulis
“We are proud to announce our new home in Gonzales and excited to be part of this thriving business community,” said Lorri Koster, Chairman & CEO. “This project represents the beginning of a partnership and a culmination of years of planning to create a facility which will serve as an anchor for the company’s fresh processing needs."
The Salinas-based company selected the City of Gonzales for its 130,000-square-foot expansion project because of its convenient location and zoned industrial area. And Mann’s noted that it has a further land base at the same location to accommodate future expansions. 250 people will be employed at the new facility.
“We are so proud of our continued growth and the opportunity for expansion in the Salinas Valley and particularly Gonzales where so much of our vegetables are grown,” added Gina Nucci, Director of Corporate Marketing. “It's a very exciting time for Mann's.”
While the lion's share of the manufacturing volume will shift to the Gonzales facility, Mann’s location at 1250 Hansen Street in Salinas will continue to process fresh-cut vegetables, but will mainly serve as the company’s central warehouse, cooling, and shipping facility.
Construction of the facility is slated for completion in early 2018, with production expected to begin in spring. The facility was designed with the goal of achieving electric sustainability and will utilize a windmill turbine to supply energy for heating and cooling.
At the groundbreaking, speeches were delivered by members of the Mann’s team, and local luminaries and important community members like California State Assemblymember Anna M. Caballero were on hand for the occasion.
The ceremony was followed by a guided tour of Fresh Leaf Farms lettuce fields, where reporters, family, and friends got a first-hand look at the innovative partially-automated process whereby the company’s Better Burger Leaf®, Better Green Leaf, and Better Romaine Leaf lettuce heads are harvested, washed, cut, and packed in traceable pallets in the field.
And finally, tour-goers were treated to a luncheon held at the Hahn Estates winery in the nearby Santa Lucia Highlands. The occasion, hosted in conjunction with Rancho Cielo, featured a menu highlighting sugar snap peas, Brocollini, kohlrabi, and other tasty concoctions sourced from the Mann’s stable of products.
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