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Sartori breaks ground for big expansion
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Sartori Company officials, joined by Gov. Scott Walker and a host of other state and local dignitaries, held a ceremonial ground-breaking for a massive expansion at its Antigo plant this morning.

The $14 million project will be spread across Sartori’s Antigo and Plymouth facilities, but the lion’s share of the work—over $11 million—will take place in Antigo.

The project is expected to create 53 new jobs.

“That’s not just 53 jobs, that’s 53 families who will be supported by jobs at a great company,” Walker said. “That’s something to cheer about.”

Walker joined Sartori CEO Jim Sartori in unveiling the expansion plans for Antigo, which will include updated equipment and expanded capacity and capabilities to enable ongoing growth.

“Not only is today’s event a celebration of the success of this fourth-generation company, it’s also another sign of the continued strength of Wisconsin’s cheese and dairy industry,” Walker said. “We’re pleased with Sartori’s commitment to growing in Wisconsin, which is great news for the company and its employees, as well as local farmers, milk haulers, and dozens of suppliers who do business with the company every day.”

Walker noted the numerous national and international awards garnered by Sartori’s specialty cheeses, many of which are produced at the Antigo plant. Sartori Reserve parmesan, asiago, gorgonzola and various specialty blends such as BellaVitano have won awards ranging from World and American Cheese gold medals to best of class.

“Some of the best cheese in the country, and in the entire world, are made right here in Antigo,” Walker said.

Jim Sartori called the celebration “an exciting day, and credited the company’s customers and cheesemakers for creating an environment that allowed for the expansion project.

“We are very proud,” he said.

Walker and Sartori unveiled the rendering of the expansion plan and were joined by Tim Mutterer, vice-president of retail sales, Company President Jeff Schwager and master cheesemaker Mike Matucheski in clipping a ceremony ribbon and holding golden shovels to mark the ground-breaking.

The project is largely company financed. The city of Antigo provided some dollars for infrastructure improvements while The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation has certified up to $394,500 in Economic Development Tax Credits. The tax credits will be distributed annually based on the number of new, full-time positions created over a three-year period.

The Langlade County Economic Development Corporation assisted the company and the state with the project.

The expansion comes as Sartori also celebrates its 75th anniversary and the release of a special family heirloom 36-month aged parmesan cheese.

Founded in 1939 by Italian immigrant Paolo Sartori, the company is now in its fourth generation of family ownership and operation.

Sartori has credited much of their success through the years to the skills and dedication of their patron farm families, cheesemakers and team members. They've partnered up with local family-owned patron farms to source the freshest, highest quality rBST-free milk. Within hours, that milk is turned into cheese by Sartori's four master cheesemakers and their team of licensed cheesemakers.

“Our cheese making process is still very hands-on today,” Sartori said. “We use a lot of the same techniques we've used since day one. I believe that's one way we set ourselves apart from others. We take time to perfect our cheese, whether it's curing the cheese to the right age or hand-rubbing each treated wheel; we know the love and care we put into making our cheese resonates with those sharing it around the dinner tables."

Sartori will continue its 75th anniversary celebration throughout the year, with support and volunteering throughout the communities in Plymouth and Antigo and across the country.

"This year we will continue our focus on giving back,” Schwager said. “ The people in these communities have given us so much throughout the years and as an organization we are in a position to continue to help those in need."

Multiple contributions and volunteering at local food shelters throughout Wisconsin will be supported by Sartori and their team members, as well as the continued partnerships with Wisconsin Make-A-Wish Foundation and MACC Fund.


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Jim Sartori, left, and Gov. Scott Walker unveil plans for Sartori Company’s multi-million expansion in Antigo this morning.
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