Leprino Foods to Close in November - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

Leprino Foods in Ravenna to Close in November

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A small town loses its biggest employer, as Ravenna's Leprino Foods will shut its doors November 8th.

"After careful consideration of our supply chain we made the difficult decision to close the Ravenna facility," said Robert Schwartz, a member of the Leprino Foods corporation.

Officials made this announcement Thursday after deciding they need to move their operation to Colorado, where most of the dairy has come from in recent years.

"One of the conditions was the challenging milk supply within Nebraska," said Schwartz.

Though the decision may make financial sense for Leprino Foods, this is going to be a huge blow to Ravenna's workforce.

"It's terrible they're closing here. A lot of people work at Leprino's in this town. It's going to be bad," said Mary Rodriguez.

Daniel Hay agreed, "Hate to see it happen. Put a lot of people out of work and a lot of hardship."

"I could see a lot of it, some or more of the businesses closing down and us losing the business that we have," said Aaron Reicks.

November 8th will be the last day of work for 170 employees.

They were handed severance materials Thursday, with packages varying based on time worked at the plant.

Schwartz said, "Our hope and our goal is that all of our employees will find employment as the plant's closing as soon as possible."

Officials say this was a hard decision to make.

"This has been a great facility. The workers have been hard working and dedicated and loyal and making a great product for our customers. It's a very unfortunate decision that we've had to make," said Schwartz.

According to their official website, Leprino Foods is the world's largest mozzarella provider. Its clients include Dominos, Pizza Hut, Papa John's and Hot Pocket.

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