Sara Lee Corp. has officially announced the grand opening of The Kitchens of Sara Lee, the Downers Grove, Ill.-based company’s new North American innovation campus. For the first time in the company’s 60-year history, all North American food and beverage research and development will take place under the same roof.

More than 100 scientists, chefs, engineers and packaging designers work in the 120,000-square-foot facility located adjacent to the company’s headquarters in Downers Grove. The building, which took just over two years to build out, houses packaging labs, meat labs, a bakery pilot plant, a meat pilot plant, foodservice kitchens and other product labs. In a dedication ceremony this morning, CEO Brenda Barnes presented a plaque honoring company founder Charles Lubin. Lubin’s daughter and company namesake Sara Lee Schupf also spoke at the event.

Barnes and other Sara Lee executives said the new facility represents a multimillion dollar investment in technology and innovation and will help fuel continued growth in both retail and foodservice channels by decreasing time to market and increasing teamwork throughout different Sara Lee divisions.