White Castle is preparing to build a new frozen food facility creating 100 permanent jobs in Vandalia, Ohio. Governor John Kasich joined White Castle CEO Bill Ingram and Vandalia city officials for a groundbreaking ceremony at Stonequarry Crossings.
The 91-year-old company, which pioneered the fast food hamburger and later the frozen distribution of its iconic Slider, plans to construct an estimated $18 million facility in the first phase of construction near the Dayton International Airport. Team members will produce frozen hamburgers and cheeseburgers for distribution to grocery and convenience stores across the United States.
"We're proud to call Ohio home, and excited about these future plans to add more jobs in our home state," said White Castle CEO E. W. "Bill" Ingram III in a prepared statement. "The Ohio economic development team is a tremendous partner. We're enthusiastic about the Vandalia site and we're honored that our family-owned business can be a jobs creator, investing with a new production facility."
The mayor of Vandalia is excited that the city is home to the iconic White Castle brand.
"The City of Vandalia has much to offer to White Castle," said Mayor Arlene Setzer. "We have a strong and dedicated workforce, as well as a supportive community. We will continue to offer White Castle all that it needs to thrive in our city."
The first phase of construction on the 75,000 square-foot facility is planned to begin this fall with completion next summer. The facility location is in the Stonequarry Crossings area, Vandalia's business park for professional offices, high technology, manufacturing and other uses. In addition, the building is aiming for LEED certification once complete. The Ohio frozen food plant is the third for White Castle; the other two plants are located in Covington and Louisville, Ky.
"When we began developing plans for Stonequarry Crossings in 2008, we were striving to attract more jobs to Vandalia and maintain a reputation for a high quality of life for residents," said City Manager Robert Anderson. "With White Castle building this new facility, together we're creating new prosperity for our region."
White Castle introduced frozen Sliders to Cravers nationwide in 1986, reaching customers outside its restaurant footprint. After learning about customers freezing the product and shipping it to various locations across the U.S., the frozen food division was born, marrying convenience and the popular technology of microwave ovens at the time. Grocery and convenience stores sell the frozen hamburgers and cheeseburgers in addition to being available in vending machines.
Ohio is home to 57 White Castle restaurants, two manufacturing facilities, one bakery and meat processing plant, 1,450 employees, and the home office in Columbus. At White Castle, more than 27 percent of team members have been with the company for 10 years or more, making their loyalty an essential component of the company's success.