Columbus Foods, San Francisco, announced plans to expand its Hayward, Calif., salami curing and processing facility by an additional 55,000 square feet. Set to be Columbus Foods Bayfront facilitycompleted by July 2015, the new building will boast drying capacity for 23 million pounds of salami.

“The growth of Columbus’ salami products continues to gather momentum, and we saw a need to increase our capacity by an additional 50% to meet demand,” says Timothy Fallon, president and CEO. “Our traditional recipes, which utilize premium cuts of pork, proprietary spice blends and a lengthy curing process, are being recognized by consumers looking to experience authentic, superior tasting products in the salami category.”

Columbus is investing $28 million dollars into the project, which will result in a state-of-the-art facility with special attention paid to food safety and the brand’s time-honored traditional production methods. Plus, the plant will feature robotics in material handling and will have the capacity to process 250,000 pounds per day.

Robotic product movement systems are being provided by VE.MA.C Automazioni Industriali, an Italy-based supplier of handling, robotics and automation in the meat industry. The salami curing rooms will be equipped with specialized air handling units provided by Frigomeccanica S.p.A, Italy, and the site and building shell are being developed by the MKD Investments and Devcon Construction, Milpitas, Calif. The facility is being developed by Stellar, Jacksonville, Fla.