WATCH: World’s largest manufacturer of mozzarella cheese to build $870 million facility in Lubbock

Published: Sep. 30, 2021 at 4:03 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 1, 2021 at 2:28 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Leprino Foods, the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance (LEDA) and Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced the construction of a new 850,000 square foot mozzarella cheese manufacturing facility in East Lubbock County on Friday afternoon.

Governor Abbott was joined by Lubbock Mayor Dan Pope, Councilwoman Shelia Patterson Harris and County Judge Curtis Parrish, Leprino Foods CEO and President Mike Durkin, and other local leaders.

The project is expected to create 600 new jobs and bring in nearly $870 million in capital investment. A Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF) grant of $4,200,000 has been extended to Leprino Foods Company.

“I am proud to welcome Leprino Foods and their new manufacturing facility, and hundreds of new jobs and investment, to West Texas,” Governor Abbott said. “By selecting Lubbock as the location for their new manufacturing facility, Leprino Foods will earn the powerful distinction of being a Made in Texas brand company. I look forward to working alongside Leprino to keep the Lone Star State the best place to live, work, raise a family, and do business.”

The manufacturing plant is expected to process about eight million pounds of milk per day, with the milk supplied by local dairy farmers. The company expects to make mozzarella and Nutrition Products. The finished products will then be distributed throughout the United States and internationally.

According to official documents, the plant is expected to be located east of East Loop 289 and North 19th Street. The construction is expected to begin in Summer 2022 with commercial operations beginning in January 2025.

Leprino Foods Company is the world’s largest manufacturer of mozzarella cheese and is a known leader in cheese technology. Leprino is a privately held company headquartered in Denver, Colorado. Leprino has nine production facilities in the United States, with the closest one in Roswell, NM. The company operates plants in Northern Ireland, Wales, and Brazil. In addition to mozzarella, Leprino also produces whey products including sweet whey, whey protein concentrate and lactose. Leprino Foods products are distributed worldwide. Currently, Leprino does not have a manufacturing presence in Texas but only inventory at third party cold storage warehouses.

“I want to join Governor Greg Abbott in welcoming Leprino Foods to the South Plains,” Senator Charles Perry said. “Their new manufacturing facility in Lubbock will provide up to 600 jobs, complementing a strong dairy and agriculture industry. This is another example of Texas leading the nation in attracting and retaining high-quality companies because of our pro-business environment. This was a great team effort between the State of Texas and local leaders to benefit the South Plains community.”

“Leprino Foods arrival in Lubbock reinforces West Texas’ reputation as being the country’s source for fuel, food and fiber,” said Representative Dustin Burrows. “The State Legislature and Governor Abbott’s efforts to create an atmosphere where higher skilled, higher paying jobs are created – with less taxes and fewer government regulations – result in companies like Leprino Foods being welcomed into the state’s business community.”

“We are excited for the opportunities that the Lubbock region provides, as well as bringing people, processes, and technology together at a new, state-of-the-art facility,” said Mike Durkin, President of Leprino Foods. “Furthermore, this new plant will play a critical role in the dairy industry in Texas and will have a substantial regional impact for local dairy farmers across the South Plains to fulfill daily production needs. As we prepare to break ground on this new facility, hire local talent, and establish ourselves as a responsible corporate citizen, we also look forward to being part of the vibrant and growing Lubbock community.”

“I have gotten to know the Leprino Foods Family over the last two years. Leprino will be a great corporate partner,” said Lubbock Mayor Dan Pope. “This project will create tremendous opportunities for our citizens, and it further demonstrates the strength of our economy. We are thrilled to welcome Leprino Foods to Lubbock. It’s a Great Day in Lubbock, Texas.”

“On behalf of Lubbock County, I would like to welcome the Leprino family to our community,” said Lubbock County Judge Curtis Parrish. “We are honored Leprino Foods chose the South Plains for their expansion; this is an investment which will have a tremendous impact on our region for many years to come. We look forward to a longstanding partnership with this community-minded, family-based company.”

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