Tillamook County Creamery Association (TCCA), a US farmer-owned dairy cooperative, is to open an ice cream manufacturing facility in Decatur, Illinois in late 2024.

The new plant is expected to create approximately 45 new jobs, the co-op announced plans yesterday (21 March).

The decision was an answer to the growing demand for its ice cream in the eastern parts of the US, TCCA explained. The factory will primarily serve the region.

At present, TCCA makes ice cream at a plant in Tillamook, one of its sites in its home state of Oregon. It also uses co-manufacturers across the US.

“Consumer demand for Tillamook Ice Cream has grown exponentially over the past several years,” said Mike Bever, EVP of the association. “This new facility is an investment in our continued national expansion plans. We are proud to be able to expand our manufacturing footprint even further as another step toward bringing Tillamook to more fans around the country.”

TCCA will spend the next 18 to 24 months updating the plant to bring it up to standard, with a goal of starting production in October 2024. The plant was closed in 2022 by Prairie Farms, which also used it for ice cream production.

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The plant will be the co-op’s facility outside its home state of Oregon its only facility solely dedicated to ice cream production. The association’s two sites in Oregon primarily focus on cheese. The Decatur plant will produce for off-trade sales in 48 oz. packages, and for on-trade in three-gallon packs.

“Opening this Illinois manufacturing location will enable us to make more of our ice cream closer to the eastern US, where demand for our ice cream is growing fast. In the last year, we’ve added 1.6m households and grown ice cream sales nearly 60% in the eastern US,” Bever continued. “Ultimately our continued growth is a ‘win’ for who and what matters most to us. It allows us to continue to generate meaningful profits for our farmer-owners, create growth and well-being opportunities for our 900-plus employees and give back to the communities where we live and work.”

TCCA’s dairy products are available in all 50 US.