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Kraft Pizza Company – maker of DiGiorno frozen pizza – opened the doors to its newly expanded Little Chute, Wis., pizza plant on June 25 to Kraft Foods employees and members of state and local government. The ribbon cutting was in celebration of the new 108,000-square-foot addition, and the 300 new jobs that the expansion brings to the community. To date, about 200 of those jobs have been filled.
The expanded plant now houses a new pizza crust bakery line and an assembly line that will make a difference in the plant's ability to meet demand for the company's products now and in the future.
"This major expansion in Little Chute shows our commitment to Wisconsin and gives us the capacity we need to maintain our strong momentum," said Tim Cofer, president, Kraft Pizza Company. "We're extending our industry leadership by making more of the highest-quality pizzas and frozen meals. We're delighting our consumers with innovative new products and consistent value compared to carry-out and delivery."
First 10,000 Pizzas go to Wisconsin Food Banks
To celebrate the expansion, the plant donated the first "official" 10,000 pizzas to two Wisconsin members of Feeding America -- America's Second Harvest of Wisconsin (in Milwaukee) and Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin (in Madison). The donation will help to provide about 30,000 meals to those in need, during this time of increased demand at food pantries.
Almost all of the company's pizza is produced at its Wisconsin plants in Little Chute and Medford, and more than 75 percent of the cheese used on the pizza is from Wisconsin.
Little Chute employees make DiGiorno, California Pizza Kitchen, Tombstone and Jack's pizzas at the plant.
The Village of Little Chute's fame as the home of popular frozen pizza goes back to 1960, to privately-held Jack's Frozen Pizza Inc. In 1992, Kraft Foods, which had earlier purchased Tombstone Pizza, acquired Jack's. Within two years, the Little Chute facility doubled capacity and grew as Wisconsin-made Jack's and Tombstone brands became household names nationwide. In 1995, DiGiorno Rising Crust Pizza made its debut revolutionizing the frozen pizza industry.