Stampede Meat, Inc., Bridgeview, Ill., opened the doors to fully renovated facility, just 5 months after announcing the company’s expansion outside of Illinois for the first time in its 24-year history.

Stampede will invest more than $36 million to renovate and re-open the former Tyson Foods facility in Sunland Park, N.M. Over the next year, the facility will increase Stampede’s existing 285,000 square footage and 190 million-pound capacity by more than half.

“We are poised to have our single largest sales growth in our 24-year history, due in no small part to this critical investment. But, make no mistake, it was a herculean effort made by a great many individuals to arrive here today,” says Brock Furlong, president and CEO. “This expansion creates a platform for immediate growth.”

The expansion project was split into three phases. Phase 1 is completed, and consisted of a full renovation to the production plant, which included a new roof, walls and flooring. Phase 2 is underway, and will be complete within the next few weeks. Phase 3 is projected to begin early 2019, and will include a clean room for post-cook lethality processing.

“The facility will be deploying at scale a proprietary 360-degree fire-seared, sous vide process, which we developed over the last three years. This new capability is not only immediately needed to facilitate current customer contracts and commitments heading into 2019, but it will also open up many new customer doors,” Furlong says.

Over the next five years, this expansion will create 1,295 new food processing and manufacturing jobs, making Stampede’s growth one of the largest job creation projects in New Mexico in over a decade.

“We’ll quickly ramp up to 2 shifts of production as soon as mid-January 2019. To put that in perspective, many facilities run for years prior to adding a second shift. We will run for about 5-6 weeks before the necessity will kick in,” Furlong adds.