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Schreiber Foods: The Company That Cheese Built

May 27, 2013

America and a good portion of the rest of the world love cheese. Schreiber Foods certainly agrees. This company was literally built by cheese.

It all began in 1945 when L.D. Schreiber a butter and egg entrepreneur decided to open a cheese company in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  He went into partnership with Merlin G. Bush and Daniel David Nusbaum and established L.D. Schreiber Cheese Company.  The company was built on a single philosophy, a pound of cheese would be just that a pound of cheese. Not more, certainly not less.  It meant being honest and trustworthy.

Business was doing well and America wasn’t (and isn’t) fed up with cheese. In fact the company opened a second cheese facility in Carthage, Missouri. By the 1970s two more plants were added in Logan, Utah and Monett, Missouri.

It wasn’t only business that progressed but there were also changes taking place in the company ownership structure. In 1962, L.D. Schreiber Cheese Co. is incorporated with the purchase of company stock by 13 employees that constituted 49 percent of the ownership. The following year other employees were offered the opportunity to buy company stock.

With more employees owning the company work attitude also improved.  Employees became more keenly aware that their work performance had an impact on the overall health of the company.  The enterprise changed its name to Schreiber Foods in 1980.

With the appetite for cheese still unabated and the company innovating new production techniques and adding new products, yearly sales broke the $1 billion mark in 1993. Schreiber then created its Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) in 1999.

Today Schreiber also has domestic plants in California, Texas, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, and Georgia. It has since gone international with operations in Austria, Brazil, China, Germany, India, Mexico and Uruguay.  It also produces and distributes process cheese, cream cheese and yogurt.

The company now has annual sales in excess of $4 billion. It takes pride of being the largest employee-owned dairy company in the world. Schreiber has more than 7,000 employees. From the founders right down to its current employee-owners a lot of hard work was put in to make the company what it is today, and don’t forget the cheese.

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