First Choice Ingredients adding Menomonee Falls facility

Plans to increase staffing by 30 percent

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:24 pm

Germantown-based First Choice Ingredients plans to expand its operations with the purchase of an 83,000-square-foot facility in Menomonee Falls.

First Choice Ingredients purchased this facility in Menomonee Falls.
First Choice Ingredients purchased this facility in Menomonee Falls.

First Choice plans to have the facility fully operations by early next year and plans to increase staffing by 30 percent over the next 18 months. The company currently has 110 employees.

The facility, located at N92 W14224 Anthony Ave., was formerly occupied by North Carolina-based Avoca BioProcessing. First Choice purchased the facility for $2 million from an Avoca affiliate. It had an assessed value of more than $2.5 million in 2015, according to Waukesha County tax records.

First Choice produces concentrated dairy products, including milk, yogurt, butter and cream concentrates, through fermentation and reaction processes.

The plant will be First Choice’s third large-scale production facility in Wisconsin and will more than double its footprint. The facility has the capacity to produce over 10 million pounds of dairy ingredients annually.

“We have experienced double-digit growth every year for the last decade,” said Jim Pekar, First Choice president. “This new, world-class facility will enable us to grow responsibly to meet the needs of our customers and take advantage of new opportunities. We have customers all over the world, and they all know the best dairy products come from Wisconsin.”

The purchase of the plant included much of the production equipment and machinery already in place. First Choice also plans to add five new laboratories in the facility to help pilot new products as it expands its custom flavors division.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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