Tillamook County Creamery Association

Tillamook to Renovate Central Illinois Ice Cream Plant

March 21, 2023
Shuttered Decatur, Ill., facility represents Tillamook County Creamery Association’s first expansion step outside its Oregon home state.

Tillamook County Creamery Association has announced its plan to open an ice cream manufacturing facility in Decatur, Ill. in late 2024, according to a release from the company.

Tillamook purchased the facility in November 2022 for $2.5 million, according to local news reports, and plans to invest approximately $50 million in renovations and updates over the next 18 to 24 months. The plant was owned for decades by Prairie Farms, which processed ice cream there until it was closed in early 2022. The plant is expected to create approximately 45 jobs when fully staffed.

The Decatur plant represents the first Tillamook-owned and -operated manufacturing facility outside of Oregon. The dairy processor’s two manufacturing facilities in Oregon are primarily dedicated to cheese production, and the company says the Decatur ice cream plant will manufacture Tillamook family-size (48 oz.) ice cream as well as Tillamook foodservice ice cream (3 gallon).

The facility has stood the test of time, having been built in 1918 by Swift & Co. and sold to Prairie Farms in 1977. Ice cream production began at the facility in 1950, but previous owners have used the plant to produce butter and process chickens during its operational lifetime.

Tillamook and the city of Decatur also will work to demolish an adjacent vacant warehouse on the property that was built in 1920, and although plans for the entire property were not available, the company was expected to invest in renovation and use of other existing structures on the property.

About the Author

Andy Hanacek | Senior Editor

Andy Hanacek has covered meat, poultry, bakery and snack foods as a B2B editor for nearly 20 years, and has toured hundreds of processing plants and food companies, sharing stories of innovation and technological advancement throughout the food supply chain. In 2018, he won a Folio:Eddie Award for his unique "From the Editor's Desk" video blogs, and he has brought home additional awards from Folio and ASBPE over the years. In addition, Hanacek led the Meat Industry Hall of Fame for several years and was vice president of communications for We R Food Safety, a food safety software and consulting company.

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