Masters Gallery Foods Named Sheboygan County “Economic Driver of the Year”
Sheboygan, Wis. - At its Annual Meeting on November 14, the Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation (SCEDC) presented its annual “Sheboygan County Economic Driver of the Year” Award to Masters Gallery Foods.
Upon accepting the award, CEO Jeff Gentine dedicated the award to the more than 800 associates employed by Masters Gallery Foods, as well as customers and suppliers integral to the success of the company.
The ‘Sheboygan County Economic Driver of the Year’ Award reflects the family-owned firm’s economic impact to the region. The Company’s growth plan has seen them expand from the City of Plymouth to the Village of Oostburg, supplying hundreds of family sustaining careers and providing generous support to local non-profits and charities.
Founded in 1974 by entrepreneur and innovator Leonard “Butch” Gentine, Jr., the Company started as a small Plymouth, Wisconsin-based brokerage firm, specializing in the sale and distribution of bulk cheese. In 1989 the Company opened a 45,000 sq. ft. production and distribution facility to package shreds and chunks for the emerging private label retail category. As the firm grew to become one the largest national cheese suppliers in the country, the Plymouth plant was expanded three times to its current size of over 300,000 sq. ft.
In 2017, after working for the firm for 21 years, Jeff Gentine, second generation owner, took over as President and CEO. “We have great people at Masters and they make all the difference every day. We take great pride in the cheese we package because so much work goes into it from across all areas of the company,” Jeff Gentine stated.
To accommodate their continued growth, earlier this year the company opened a $36 million, 175,000 sq. ft facility on 39 acres in the Village of Oostburg. The plant already employs nearly 100 individuals and is expected to add another 30-40 jobs in the next year as it adds more lines. Full build-out of the site would result in a 350,000 sq. ft. facility and numerous new job opportunities.
According to Gary Dulmes, SCEDC Board Chair, “Masters Gallery Foods is a tremendous company. We are glad to honor this second-generation company with our prestigious annual award. They have made a huge positive impact in Sheboygan County. Congratulations to the family and employees of Masters Gallery Foods.”
Masters Gallery Foods is among other visionary companies that have earned the SCEDC Economic Driver Award, which include the leaders of Acuity, American Orthodontics, Bemis Manufacturing, Johnsonville Sausage, Kohler Co., Oostburg Concrete, Sargento, and Vollrath Co.