Olé plans tortilla, chip plant in Stead

Olé Mexican Foods, which purchased 22 acres in Stead, plans to launch a tortilla and chip-making production facility in the second quarter of 2014.

Ole initially expects to hire about 150 workers in production and packaging and operations, but that number could grow to more than 350 over the next few years, says Samuel Rodriguez, vice president of operations and sales.

Ole´services much of the United States from its Atlanta headquarters and from additional facilities in Dallas and Los Angeles. The new 92,500-square-foot operation in Stead saves on transportation costs, Rodriguez says.

“Right now we have to ship from the east, and the cost on transportation is incredible,” Rodriguez says. “That is why it is so imperative for us to start manufacturing here. We are going to save a lot of money on transportation.”

The company’s purchased of 22 acres at Production Drive allows the company to expand in the future — a key element of their relocation plans, says Carol Brill, vice president of Miller Industrial Properties.

Brill says finding the right location to meet Ole´s demands proved difficult.

“Olé was looking for a building that fit the criteria of a food manufacturing plant, which brings in all sorts of specific criteria. Additional land for the project was a must due to their expansion plans — they will be starting with chips and tortillas but are looking to make their own flour and growing the plant to accommodate cheese production. Ceiling height, silo positioning, water and power were all important criteria.”

Olé plans to invest more than $12 million in the plant, and 90 percent of the manufacturing equipment will be new. Olé is the second-largest tortilla manufacturer in the nation. Its products can be found in stores such as Walmart, Safeway, Food 4 Less and Kroger.

Ole´grew from $10,000 in sales in its first year of operations to more than $246 million in 2012. The company expects to take in as much as $280 million in revenue in 2013, Rodriguez says.

Rodriguez expects to ship between 20 to 25 truckloads of tortillas a day during initial rampup in northern Nevada.


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