CORNWALL, Ontario – The rebuild of the St. Albert cheese factory got a major boost from Queen’s Park Monday with a cash infusion of $1 million.
Premier Kathleen Wynne made the announcement while touring the site of the cheese co-operative north of Cornwall that was destroyed by fire a little more than a year ago.
A new state-of-the-art factory is being built that will employ 110.
“St. Albert Cheese has been a cornerstone of this community for the past 120 years, and I’m proud to support this important project,” said Wynne. “Through hard work and determination, I know St. Albert will once again be a vital part of the region’s economy and provide good jobs for local families.”
The provincial money will help the co-operative purchase equipment and establish a computerized production line for their new facility.
The new cheese factory will process 50 million litres of local milk a year, create 10 new jobs and support the more than 100 jobs that were displaced as a result of the fire. At 76,000 square feet, the building will be 30 per cent larger and will feature a manufacturing plant, an observation deck for visitors, a retail store and a restaurant.
“St. Albert Cheese is such an important part of our community, and with government support we will be able to bring back jobs and economic opportunities to the region,” said glengarry-Prescott-Russell MPP Grant Crack. “This investment is not only good for the company, but for Ontario’s agri-food sector as a whole.”
The provincial grant was welcomed by management at the cheese factory.
“Last year was a tough year for the co-op, and we were devastated when we lost everything in the fire,” said Eric Lafontaine, the director at the cheese factory. “Support from the Government of Ontario will help us become a more successful facility, keeping local jobs in our community.”
St. Albert Cheese has been a dairy-farmer cheese-making co-operative since 1894. The co-operative now has 40 members and represents 23 dairy farms.