Wixon, Inc., a national food ingredients company in the Milwaukee suburb of St. Francis, broke ground Monday, March 17, for a culinary center to create, test and demonstrate food specialties and to develop new meat products. The ceremony, attended by a number of local dignitaries, took place at the Wixon headquarters.
The new 4,200-square-foot facility is formally named the Wixon Innovation Center for Culinary & Protein. Construction is scheduled to be completed by September. The center will further Wixon's food research and development capabilities for itself and its customers. The $2 million addition will also provide a demonstration area for Wixon to showcase products it creates for visiting customers.
The culinary portion of the center will be equipped with professional Viking appliances, griddles, charbroilers, Sub-Zero refrigeration units, and a high-end presentation and conference area complete with digital audiovisual equipment.
The protein development section of the center will have advanced meat-related equipment, including grinders, stuffers, patty-makers, smokehouse facilities, walk-in freezers and coolers, a linear cook line, and it will be outfitted with a specialized batter and breading system. This section of the Wixon Innovation Center for Culinary and Protein will be lead by Ron Ratz, director of protein development, who has more than 16 years of national and international experience in the meat industry.
Wixon President Peter Gottsacker said future plans include hiring additional staff for the center. Gottsacker said the new culinary and protein center "is more than just an extension of our facilities. It represents a blending of innovation, our passion for service and another major step forward for our company to do the important research and testing for our customers that can save them countless hours of time as well as tremendous expense."
In conjunction with the coming of the new center, Wixon recently added Corporate Chef Judson McLester, who will be in charge of much of the product testing, evaluating and product formulations. McLester said that the new facilities "symbolize Wixon's commitment to culinology, which fuses the creative aspects of food development with the scientific elements. It is truly a testament to Wixon's goals for greater customer service," he added.
Wixon is one of the nation's leading producers of food ingredients, including custom-ground spices, blended seasonings, sweet and savory flavors, and a variety of finished food products. Additionally, Wixon offers R&D services as well as product development, packaging, warehousing, and delivery to the food and beverage industry. Wixon is one of the first major food companies in the nation to become certified under the ISO9001:2000 standard. Wixon celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2007.
For more information about Wixon and its products contact Wixon at1390 E. Bolivar Ave., St. Francis, Wisconsin, call 414-769-3000 or click on www.wixon.com.