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Thursday, September 10, 2020

Reflecting on 50 years of making pizza, while looking to the future

Sept. 10, 2020 — If you know one thing about Schwan’s Company, it is that we love our pizza! This year marked two major milestones for our pizza business: celebrating our past and investing in our future growth.

This April marked five decades of Schwan’s Company making pizza at our manufacturing facility in Salina, Kansas. And this August, company leaders visited Salina to deliver an exciting announcement about plans to build a new 400,000-square-foot expansion at the pizza facility.

“For 50 years, we have made steady investments in growing our operations in Salina, and our facility eventually became what we believe is the largest pizza production facility in the world,” said CEO Dimitrios Smyrnios. “This new investment in Salina will help ensure that we can achieve our growth plans and continue to provide delicious pizzas to millions of families for decades to come.”

The announcement was made at a special event, where company leaders were joined by government and civic officials at the Tony’s Pizza and Events Center to share details of the expansion and thank the Salina and greater Kansas community.

For employees in Salina, they celebrated the expansion and the company’s 50th anniversary with a meal, gourmet cupcakes and memorabilia items, including T-shirts, koozies, sunglasses and umbrellas. The event occurred while adhering to social-distancing and other safety guidelines.

Our company first began operating a pizza plant in Salina in April 1970, when it acquired the Tony’s® pizza brand and plant from a Salina businessman. Employees at the facility continue to produce Tony’s® and Red Baron® pizza for grocery stores nationwide, as well as pizzas for food-service venues such as schools.

During Schwan’s Company’s ownership of the plant, the facility has grown from just 18,000 square feet to one of the largest pizza plants in the world with more than 550,000 square feet, including a distribution center that was added in 2006. The facility has seen more than 80 additions over the past five decades.

In the next two years with the recently announced 400,000- square-foot expansion, our pizza facility will add up to 225 new, full-time jobs by 2023. The expansion also includes adding state-of-the-art production lines and equipment, capable of making more than 100 million pizzas per year. The facility will also include investments in technology and protocols designed to minimize risks during pandemic situations such as COVID-19, following CDC guidelines and applying key learnings from the on-going global crisis.

While 50 years in the pizza business is a remarkable milestone, our focus is on tomorrow, and we cannot help but to be excited for our future. Work is underway now on the new, state-of-art expansion and we look forward to reporting back and celebrating our achievements in the pizza business and Salina community.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Introducing Schwan's intern class of 2020

July 20, 2020 — Since COVID-19, employees and businesses across the U.S. have had to adjust to new ways of operating. At Schwan’s Company, this includes our summer internship program, which is being facilitated virtually with interns working remotely in their homes. Earlier this summer, we welcomed 20 interns, who are working in various departments throughout the company including marketing, food safety & quality, finance, engineering, human resources, information services and more.

“Our internship program is a highlight for us every summer,” said Sarah Rohne, college relations manager. “Although we are not able to work with students in-person, the importance of the program still remains. With the help of technology, our team put together a hybrid version of our traditional program and integrated many of the experiential and engagement activities with students on a virtual platform.”

The main goal of Schwan’s Company’s summer internship program is to provide meaningful learning and development opportunities so that interns can gain a better understanding of how they would like to pursue their careers after school.

With interns working remotely this year, the projects, team engagement and training activities are now hosted via Microsoft Teams. Each intern is assigned a manager and mentor, who are Schwan’s employees and meant to serve as resources throughout their internship, and the college relations team serves as a thread to support the program’s overall success.

This year’s interns include:
  • Taylor Batz, University of Cincinnati (Quality Engineering).
  • Brock Buysse, Southwest Minnesota State University (Logistics & Transportation).
  • Cameron Califf, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (Marketing MBA).
  • Audrey Davidson, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (Marketing).
  • Tyler Grimm, University of Minnesota, Duluth (Territory Sales).
  • Graham Halverson, University of Minnesota (Finance).
  • Audrey Hapka, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (Finance).
  • Alec Jacobson, University of Wisconsin (Quality Engineering).
  • Kamana KC, St. Cloud State University (Enterprise Architecture).
  • Emma Lindahl, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (Human Resources).
  • Morgan McCarthy, University of Denver (Marketing).
  • Daniel McCoy, University of Iowa (Territory Sales).
  • Janette Mendoza, University of St. Thomas (College Relations & Talent Acquisition).
  • Eric Minett, Dakota State University (Data Science).
  • Sohail Patel, North Carolina State University (Process Engineering).
  • Marissa Peschel, University of Minnesota (Learning & Development).
  • Jacey Schiager, Southwest Minnesota State University (Accounting & Tax).
  • Jacob Schumacher, Minnesota State University, Mankato (Audit).
  • Charlie Vang, Southwest Minnesota State University (Finance).
  • Sarah Whitcomb, Purdue University (Quality Engineering).

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