With new equipment up and running that manufactures six new yogurt flavors, the Alpina Foods Greek yogurt plant in Batavia is looking to hire before the end of the month.
Over the summer, the company bought 10 acres of land adjacent to the plant, but the company hasn't decided exactly how it will be used.
"We have ideas and we'll decide later how to use it," said Roger Parkhurst, Alpina's industrial director and Batavia plant manager. "We thought we should buy it, then we'd have it if we needed it."
Parkhurst added that the 42,000 square-foot plant has a footprint that can be expanded. The extra 10 acres gives them the option to do so there if needed. The company employed around 55 this past summer.
The new yogurt-filling equipment was run for the first time on Dec. 5, and the new flavors will be made beginning next week. With a capacity of filling 400 yogurt cups per minute, it will initially double the plant's output, which is around 220 per minute.
As a result of the new equipment, Parkhurst said they'll be looking at recruiting to fill four new specialized jobs, but the details on those still needed to be fleshed out.
"We're waiting to see how things get up to speed, and how different positions may be affected in the plant," he said. "We'll need them in position by the first of the year."
Alpina's Greek yogurt line will offer three more flavors: pineapple, raspberry and key lime pie. The Alpina Greek with Artisan Granola line will add pineapple with tropical chia granola, raspberry with granola and black cherry with granola. The new flavors will be in select stores this month.