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Oostburg — Masters Gallery Foods Inc. plans to build a new cheese packaging and distribution plant in Oostburg that is expected to create 120 jobs.

The company said it plans to begin site preparation next year in Oostburg and open the $30 million plant in 2018.

Masters has expanded to become a national supplier of cheese for the private label, retail and food service markets. The company said its growth led it to expand over the years at its headquarters plant in Plymouth, but Masters said its growth means another expansion is in order.

"We're thrilled to be embarking on our second production facility. It's a proud moment for the company and all our associates, and we hope it's exciting for the local community as well," Jeff Gentine, chief executive and co-owner of Masters, said in a statement.

The company is building on 40 acres recently acquired by the Village of Oostburg through an annexation that expands its business park.

There's plenty of room for growth, with the company envisioning a 150,000-square-foot building. A second phase could add another 200,000 square feet and lead to the creation of 200 more jobs in the years ahead, according to Masters.

"We explored building out of state, but after a thorough analysis we determined that expanding in our backyard was best," Gentine said.

Masters has nearly 600 employees in Plymouth working at shredding, slicing and chunking of cheese, in a facility that was built in 1989 and has been expanded on multiple occasions.

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