US-based Hispanic products supplier Cacique Foods has ended operations at its California dairy plant, with manufacturing to switch to another site in Texas.
Plant equipment at the closed City of Industry factory in California will be put up for auction in a process to be conducted by dairy asset sales specialist Harry Davis & Company in December, according to a statement.
Founded in 1973 in Monrovia, California, family-owned Cacique produces queso Mexican-style cheeses and dips, sour cream, yogurt drinks, salsa and chorizo under its namesake brand. The business sold a minority stake in 2021 to Boston-based hedge fund The Baupost Group and this year shifted its headquarters from Monrovia to Irving, Texas.
CEO Gil de Cardenas and the rest of the Cardenas family remain majority owners.
Manufacturing operations from the City of Industry facility will move to the Amarillo plant in Texas, which opened this year.
In a separate statement provided to Just Food, Cacique said the City of Industry facility closed this week, while its distribution centre in Irwindale, also in California, will shut at the end of September.
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The company added: “Cacique Foods came to the decision to relocate from California to Texas after extensive analysis showed that consolidating business operations in Texas will help meet the growing demand for Cacique’s high-quality products nationwide.
“Cacique is offering employees as much support as possible, including financial packages, incentives to relocate, or providing out-placement services for those looking for new employment in California.”
In terms of potential job losses in California, Cacique will make efforts to relocate employees to the Amarillo plant, although the company acknowledged there may be “some adjustments” in staff positions due to the different nature of production lines at the site compared to the City of Industry factory.
The 200,000 square-metre Amarillo factory got off the ground in 2021 with an $88m investment and the planned creation of around 200 jobs. It produces Mexican cheeses, creams and yogurts.
With the closure of the City of Industry plant, Cacique has three manufacturing facilities: a meat plant in Cedar City, Utah, the Amarillo site, and another in Arizona acquired in 2019 through the company’s purchase of fellow Mexican-style salsa producer El Sol Foods.
Lenny Davis, CEO of the Harry Davis & Company said: “A plant of this size with the capabilities to produce such a wide range of products, especially in this geographical area – there is a lot of equipment that has been hard to source in a timely fashion with increasing global lead times and logistics constraints.
“This is a complete site closure, so everything from the specialised dairy equipment down to generic food factory items including utilities are being offered.”
Assets from the City of Industry site include pasteurisation silos, homogenisers, milk and whey separators, process tanks and cheese and dairy packaging equipment.