HAYWARD, CA—Columbus Foods has broken ground to expand its existing Hayward, salame curing and processing facility by an additional 55,000 square feet. Set to be completed by July 2015, the new building will boast drying capacity for 23 million pounds of salame for the company, a venerable San Francisco Bay Area institution that has been bringing a passion for food and a commitment to authentic Italian culinary traditions to life for close to a century.

“The growth of Columbus’ salame products continues to gather momentum, and we saw a need to increase our capacity by an additional 50 percent to meet demand,” Timothy Fallon, CEO/President of Columbus Foods. “Our traditional recipes, which utilize premium cuts of pork, proprietary spice blends, and a lengthy curing process, are being recognized by consumers looking to experience authentic, superior-tasting products in the salumi category.”

Columbus is investing $28 million dollars into the project, which will result in a state-of-the-art facility with special attention paid to food safety and the brand’s time-honored traditional production methods. The facility is being developed through an ongoing design-build partnership between Columbus and Stellar, a recognized industry leader in providing true turnkey, design-build solutions for the food & beverage industry.

The plant will feature robotics in material handling and will have the capacity to process 250,000 pounds per day. Robotic product movement systems are being provided by VE.MA.C. Automazioni Industriali, a leading supplier of handling, robotics, and automation in the meat industry. Additionally, the salame curing rooms will be equipped with specialized air handling units provided by Frigomeccanica S.p.A., a firm with over 40 years of experience, and the site and building shell are being developed by MKD Investments and Devcon Construction. Devcon is one of the largest general contractors in Silicon Valley and is a design-builder with a diverse portfolio of projects on the West Coast.