HAYWARD, Calif. – Columbus Foods, based in the San Francisco Bay Area, celebrated the grand opening of its new $31 million slicing and packaging facility in Hayward, Calif., on July 21. The facility was designed to slice and package the company’s line of authentic Italian-style salame products and premium deli meats. Products are treated using high pressure processing technology provided by NC Hyperbaric.

“The new plant, our first major project in decades, reflects Columbus’ potential for growth, as well as its unwavering commitment to quality, safety and production excellence,” said Tim Fallon, CEO. “This facility builds on 94 years of tradition in making great tasting salame and deli meats.”

The new plant is a 60,000-sq.-ft. renovation of the company’s existing 120,000-sq.-ft. distribution center. The expansion includes 70 incremental employees and three production lines for slicing and packaging the company’s products into convenient, ready-to-eat packages. The additional capacity will help Columbus keep pace with growing national demand for its products.

The renovation project is designed to increase line efficiencies and implement some of the highest product safety and handling standards in food manufacturing, including high-pressure processing (HPP) technology, which protects against harmful bacteria without affecting a food product’s taste, texture, appearance or nutritional value.

Columbus worked with Stellar, a Jacksonville, Fla.-based design-build firm. The Stellar team developed the architectural design, line layout, equipment purchase recommendations and construction of the project.

Columbus also operates a manufacturing plant in South San Francisco where it handcrafts its full collection of traditional and artisan salume and suite of premium deli meats.

The new slicing and packaging facility in Hayward replaces Columbus’ South San Francisco slicing plant that was destroyed by a fire in July 2009, and was funded primarily by insurance proceeds.

Columbus Foods is owned in part by Endeavour Capital which, in 2006, acquired a majority interest in the company through a recapitalization initiative.