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Opening up a Fresh Pack
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MONTICELLO - The owners of Family Fresh Pack hope to keep up with the demand for new specialty cheeses and create jobs.

Steve McKeon, president of Family Fresh Pack, has added a fully-insulated, dry 60-foot by 80-foot warehouse on North Pratt Road outside of Monticello.

"This new addition will expand our ability to increase the volume and is an investment to keep pace within the industry and ahead of the curve," McKeon said.. "With a significant growth in the area of specialty cheese makers, this renovation and addition will help us provide a service to cheese makers to convert large pieces of cheese into retail sizes and wrapped for super markets and other retail facilities."

McKeon bought the facilities in Monticello, the old Monroe Cheese Corporation building, two years ago to provide additional production space and additional jobs as the industry grows.

"We are not seeing the impact of the sluggish economy," said Jim Natzke, co-owner of Family Fresh Pack and general manager at Roth Käse in Monroe. "We are seeing a strong demand for high quality, specialty cheeses and we are able to work with the specialty cheese factories to convert their cheese into retail sizes."

Natzke emphasized the owners of Family Fresh Pack are excited about the expansion, but want to reassure everyone that in doing so that they are making their Belleville facility "more efficient."

Family Fresh Pack was established in 1995 as a specialty cheese packaging converter, said Rex Koderl, project manager.

"In the heartland of cheese country, many specialty cheese makers have found the staff at Family Fresh Pack to be a creative and high quality packager of their products," Koderl said.

The future is bright for the owners and families involved with Family Fresh Pack, as the expanded capabilities for production place them as an ideal partner with the growing specialty cheese industry in Wisconsin.

"When this business was started in Belleville we wanted to stay in the general area," McKeon said. "The Monticello location has helped us increase our cheese operations gradually yet keeping up with demand and we still have another five acres to build on if we want to sometime in the future."

McKeon anticipates that the new equipment in the addition will be up and running in early September.