Plant closes its doors

Freedom Newspapers

A longtime frozen fruit manufacturing company in Clovis will close its doors at the end of the month.
FrozFruit, with its 18 full-time and 15 part-time employees, will close its Clovis branch because the plant has aged too much, said Lesley Bartholomew, public relations manager for Wells’ Dairy.
Wells’ Dairy, a national ice cream and dairy manufacturer, announced its acquisition of the FrozFruit and Chill Ice brands on Aug. 18, when it rehired employees at the Clovis facility.
“It’s just too old and it’s going to cost way too much money to refurbish,” Bartholomew said. “We thought the facility wasn’t to our standards at the time (we purchased the product), but we were hoping there would be a way to bring it up to our standards. But after we purchased it we realized there were so many (problems) we didn’t even realize when we first purchased it.”
The actual plant was built in the 1960s, and was originally a meat-packing plant until FrozFruit began producing there in 1986, Bartholomew said.
She said the last day for manufacturing at the facility will be Oct. 29, and the employees have been offered to apply at another plant in St. George, Utah.
The employees will receive severance pay, the amount depending on their time and position with the company, she added.
According to the Wells’ Dairy Web site, the Le Mars, Iowa-based company manufacturers “ice cream and frozen novelties” and “fresh dairy products like milk, yogurt, and sour cream.”
The company runs two ice cream plants and a milk plant in Le Mars, an ice cream plant in St. George, a milk plant in Omaha, Neb., and distribution centers in El Paso, Texas, and Phoenix, according to the site.