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Emmi Roth USA to build corporate headquarters and cheese facility in Stoughton

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Emmi Roth USA expanding to Stoughton

Emmi Roth USA will break ground Aug. 4 on a 134,000-square-foot facility in Stoughton.

Less than a year after adding feta to its product line, an award-winning Fitchburg-based cheese company is expanding.

Emmi Roth USA has announced plans to build a 134,000-square-foot facility on Stoughton’s northeast side that would be the new home for the company’s corporate headquarters and serve as a cheese conversion facility in which bulk cheese is packaged into smaller entities like a wedge, chunk or shredded and wrapped or placed into bags, cups or other types of containers.

A groundbreaking for the project is set for Aug. 4 and is scheduled to include Stoughton Mayor Tim Swadley, while Gov. Tony Evers has been invited. Once completed in fall 2023, the new production facility is expected to create 100 production jobs in the Dane County city known for its Norwegian heritage.

Emmi Roth USA expanding to Stoughton

Emmi Roth USA in Fitchburg announced in September the purchase of Athenos, a feta cheese company that had been owned by Lactalis Group.

“This facility will support Emmi Roth’s recent acquisition of Athenos … which strengthened the company’s long-standing dedication to the specialty cheese industry,” the company said in a statement. “With the acquisition came the need for more conversion and distribution capabilities.” Located on a portion of 19 acres of land at the corner of Williams Drive and Glacial Moraine Drive, the building, which will cover 3.3 acres, will include a two-story office building and a production facility that includes cold and dry storage and shipping and receiving docks.

The project will increase distribution capabilities, reduce the footprint of the business by bringing multiple departments under one roof and be built with sustainable features, the company said. The features include native plant landscaping, low-flow plumbing fixtures, high-recycled content in building finishes, heat recovery and smart ventilation.

Emmi Roth USA expanding to Stoughton

Under plans released by Emmi Roth USA, the Fitchburg company's corporate headquarters will move in fall 2023 into a new facility in Stoughton.

The Emmi Roth headquarters on Nobel Drive, just east of South Fish Hatchery Road, will remain operational until the building project is completed while the new Stoughton facility will add to Emmi Roth production facilities located in Monroe, Platteville and Seymour.

In September, Emmi Roth, which specializes in Alpine-style cheeses and in 2016 produced the best overall cheese at the World Championship Cheese Contest, purchased Athenos, which makes the top-selling feta cheese in the U.S. Athenos had sales in 2020 of $90 million and the purchase, according to Emmi officials.

The move will help Emmi Roth expand its cheese repertoire and go head to head with Klondike Cheese Co. in Monroe, which makes Odyssey feta cheese.

Emmi Roth USA expanding to Stoughton

Tim Omer, president and managing director of Emmi Roth USA, hoists a wheel of his company's Roth Grand Cru Surchoix, a smear ripened hard cheese named world champion, at the 2016 World Championship Cheese Contest at Monona Terrace in Madison. The cheese was made in Monroe and was the first American-made cheese to win the top prize since 1988. 

“We’re continuing to focus on the specialty cheese industry that we really care about,” Tim Omer, Emmi’s president and managing director said last fall. “Adding Athenos to our family will strengthen our product range and allow us to offer another great line of products.”

Athenos had been owned by Kraft Heinz, which sold the company to Lactalis Group last fall. However, after an antitrust review, the France-based Lactalis Group, which has manufacturing facilities in Belmont and Merrill, agreed to sell Athenos to Emmi. The Greek-style Athenos products have been contract manufactured, processed and distributed to order for several years and Emmi plans to preserve that arrangement, the company said in a release.

Emmi Roth USA expanding to Stoughton

A cheese trier is used to take a sample of Roth Grand Cru Surchoix made in Monroe by Emmi Roth USA of Fitchburg in the final round of judging at the 2016 World Championship Cheese Contest at Monona Terrace.

“With the addition of this business, we are investing in our company’s long-term future, our business, people and resources,” Omer said.

Emmi Roth has been owned since 2009 by Emmi Group in Switzerland, a company that also owns Cypress Grove goat cheeses and Cowgirl Creamery, both in California; Redwood Hill Farm, which specializes in goat milk and lactose-free products; and Emmi and Kaltbach cheese companies in Switzerland.


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Alessandra Sanguinetti has been taking photographs of Wisconsin since 2014 and was inspired by "Wisconsin Death Trip," a book she discovered as a child growing up in Argentina.

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