OPELIKA, Ala. – The mayor of Opelika and other dignitaries broke ground on a new Golden State Foods Corp. meat processing facility in the Northeast Opelika Industrial Park.

The plant will cover 165,000 sq. ft. The project will cost $65 million and create 173 new jobs. Golden State Foods announced in February 2015 plans to build the plant.

“We are thrilled to become a part of the Opelika community, a wonderful city that shares our common values,” said Mark Wetterau, chairman and CEO of Golden State Foods. “We started as a small meat company in Los Angeles nearly seven decades ago, and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate our 70th anniversary next year than with the opening of this meat plant in Opelika.

“We appreciate the solid partnership of the local civic leadership, and we look forward to providing jobs and community engagement, which is a long-term investment for us,” Wetterau said.

Irvine, Calif.-based Golden State Foods is one of the world's largest diversified suppliers to the quick-service restaurant industry. Its core businesses include processing of meat and other products, and it is a full-line distributor to the food industry. Golden State employs approximately 4,500 workers worldwide.