Berner Food & Beverage LLC (Berner), a private label and contract manufacturing supplier of quality food and beverage products, hosted a ribbon cutting event, marking the official opening of its newly expanded manufacturing facility. The state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, located in Dakota, IL, triples Berner’s manufacturing space, offers customers additional beverage production capabilities, and allows for continued growth in the future.

Kurt Seagrist, Chief Executive Officer, Berner said, “We are thrilled to be here today with many of our partners—including our valued customers, local dignitaries, news outlets and our dedicated, hard-working Berner team, as we mark this momentous milestone in Berner’s history. The new Berner Food & Beverage is about much more than this new state-of-the-art facility. The Berner legacy began back in 1943 with Arnold Kneubuehl and his family-owned dairy processing company. Over the years, Berner earned a strong reputation for unmatched product quality and cutting-edge R&D capabilities resulting from decades of experience as a cheese manufacturer and producer of high quality, shelf-stable dairy-based products. Then in November 2015, we were acquired by Peak Rock Capital and our transformation accelerated. The leadership at Peak Rock recognized our potential and encouraged our strategic growth strategy development, so that we can better serve our customer partners, today as well as tomorrow.“

Seagrist continued, “We have not only tripled our manufacturing footprint with this expanded facility, we have increased our most important asset, our employees—we have been able to grow from 355 employees, adding over 200 jobs in our local area, and we’re still continuing to encourage job creation in our area. Berner is a great place to work, and we continue to look for additional talent within our community, so that we can all grow together.”

The state-of-the-art facility allows Berner to build out operations, with the original footprint growing in size from 92,000 sqft of manufacturing space to more than 285,000 sqft, and warehousing space increasing 170,000 sqft. New and improved quality standards have been implemented and service support teams expanded so that Berner exceeds customer expectations. Updated equipment has also been added to existing lines that allows all of Berner’s team, to utilize the latest retort technology and manufacturing equipment to deliver even better-tasting beverages, dips and sauces to serve the private label industry. The company has also invested in renovations to their existing operations, with improved comforts for staff such as air conditioning, a renovated lunch room and employee lunch program, and new locker rooms. 

“Berner’s vision of growth is not stopping with this ribbon cutting. We strategically built in room for continual growth in another production line, beyond the all-new beverage line, with additional capacity for expansion,” said Seagrist. “The beverage category is booming and we are now in a position to support our customer partner’s needs today as well as their future growth, as we strive to become the leading supplier serving the food and beverage industry and expand our portfolio in the growing RTD coffee market.”