TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly congratulated Schwan’s Company officials as they held a ribbon-cutting ceremony today to celebrate the completion of a 400,000-square-foot expansion of its pizza manufacturing facility in Salina. In November, Governor Kelly joined Schwan’s leaders to announce the expansion, which will create 225 new jobs.
“Schwan’s continued investment in Kansas reaffirms what I’ve been saying since taking office,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “With our infrastructure, geographic advantage, and favorable business environment, Kansas simply is the best place for companies to succeed.”
Company leaders joined government and civic officials in Salina — including Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland, Senator Jerry Moran, and Representative Tracey Mann — to celebrate the completion of a project that took more than two years.
“In 2020, we announced to the Salina community a bold new project that would enable us to continue to make delicious pizzas for millions of families for decades to come,” Dimitrios Smyrnios, Schwan’s Company CEO, said. “In March of this year, we realized our dream, and our teams began making pizzas in our new facility.”
“On behalf of everyone at Schwan’s and our parent company, CJ, I once again want to thank the Salina community and federal, state, and local officials in Kansas for helping us make this expansion a success,” Smyrnios added. “As always, we especially thank our employees at the facility for making this project successful and continuing to make the highest-quality foods.”
Schwan’s Company, a subsidiary of South Korean food maker CJ CheilJedang, is investing in the Salina facility to support its growth initiatives in the retail and food-service markets in the U.S. and abroad.
The project includes state-of-the-art pizza production lines capable of making 100 million pizzas a year, shipping and receiving docks, and office space.
“It is truly remarkable that the largest pizza manufacturing facility in the world has its home right here in Kansas,” Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “We are grateful to Schwan’s for this massive investment as they continue to create even more great job opportunities for Kansans and their families.”
Schwan’s first began operating a pizza plant in Salina in April 1970, when it acquired the Tony’s® pizza brand and plant from a Salina businessman. Employees at the facility continue to produce Tony’s® and Red Baron® pizzas for grocery stores and food-service venues that include schools nationwide.
During Schwan’s ownership of the plant, the facility has grown from just 18,000 square feet to nearly 1 million square feet. The facility has seen more than 80 additions over the past 50 years.
The company has no plans to slow its growth in Salina. In November, Schwan’s Company announced its intention to more than double the size of its distribution center space in Salina. The new 140,000-square-foot distribution center project, which is expected to begin this year and be completed in early 2025, will expand the total distribution center space at the facility to 245,000 square feet.
The new distribution center will be used to store food produced by employees at the company’s pizza plant. The state-of-the-art facility will include a 38,000-pallet-position racking system with three automated pallet cranes. The company’s overall manufacturing facility and distribution-center footprint will exceed 1 million square feet upon completion.