Business

Former Kalona Cheese Factory sold to Kalona Organics owner

Kalona Creamery plans to receive, separate milk

(File Photo) Kalona Cheese Shop employee Mischa de Jesus hands a box of cheese to a customer on the shop’s last day of business in Kalona on Wednesday, December 31, 2014. Ankeny-based Proliant Dairy Ingredients, which shares ownership with owners John and Joanne Roetlin of Kalona, decided to close the shop, John Roetlin said. “It isn’t closing because we didn’t have the business.” The shop had been operating since 1954. The Kalona Cheese Factory closed its doors in September. (Adam Wesley/The Gazette)
(File Photo) Kalona Cheese Shop employee Mischa de Jesus hands a box of cheese to a customer on the shop’s last day of business in Kalona on Wednesday, December 31, 2014. Ankeny-based Proliant Dairy Ingredients, which shares ownership with owners John and Joanne Roetlin of Kalona, decided to close the shop, John Roetlin said. “It isn’t closing because we didn’t have the business.” The shop had been operating since 1954. The Kalona Cheese Factory closed its doors in September. (Adam Wesley/The Gazette)

The former Kalona Cheese Factory has a new owner that plans a different use for the building.

Kalona Creamery has purchased the Twin County Dairy facility, more widely known as the Kalona Cheese Factory. It plans to use the building on Highway 1 outside of Kalona for milk receiving and separation.

Mindy Seiffert, Kalona Creamery director of strategic human resources and business development, said in a Friday news release that a comprehensive plan for the location is still under review, but will involve a different business strategy than the Kalona Cheese Factory.

Twin County Dairy closed in September. Ankeny-based Proliant Dairy Ingredients, which shared ownership with John and Joanne Roetlin of Kalona, said the closure followed “significant change within the dairy industry.”

The plant, which employed 50 people, was established by a group of Amish and Mennonite farmers as cooperative in 1946. The Kalona factory processed more than 1.2 million pounds of milk per day to make white cheddar cheese, according to Proliant’s website.

“The acquisition of the Twin County Dairy facility will allow us to bring jobs to the Kalona area and boost the rural economy,” Seiffert said.

Kalona Creamery is a member of the Open Gates Business Development Corp., which is based in Kalona. Bill Evans, Open Gates CEO, said his company is pleased that it was able to acquire the former Twin County Dairy facility.

“Not only is this good for our community, but it complements our growing family of businesses,” Evans said.

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Other Open Gates companies include Kalona Organics®, Kalona Farms, Farmers Creamery, Awesome Refrigerated Transit of Iowa, and Provision Ingredients.

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