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Major food processing center and cold storage facility to open in Kansas City

by Laura Patriquin | Jan 23, 2023

Kansas City, Mo. – January 23, 2023 – The Kansas City Area Development Council announced today that West Liberty Foods will open a food processing center in Kansas City, Missouri, attached to a supporting cold storage facility to be developed by Vertical Cold Storage. The companies are expected to invest a combined $199.6 million in capital investment and create 583 jobs, with $39.7 million in payroll.

The food processing center and cold storage facility, a combined 327,000 sq. ft., will be directly connected and support the production of grab-and-go sandwiches. The facilities will be located at the I-49 Industrial Center within the 49 Crossing industrial zone.

“Missouri is home to nearly 400 food companies, and we are excited to welcome West Liberty Foods and Vertical Cold Storage to our state’s robust food and agricultural network,” said Gov. Mike Parson. “When a company selects Missouri for a new facility, we understand it’s a major decision, and we are committed to their success in our state. We are looking forward to watching these two companies grow right here in Missouri.”

“As we continue working to grow all parts of our city, Kansas City is pleased to welcome West Liberty Foods to our community as it puts down roots in south Kansas City,” said Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas. “Not only will West Liberty Foods bring hundreds of new good-paying jobs to Kansas City, it will put to good use the former Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base, and help to spur further development in Martin City.”

West Liberty Foods ranks as one of North America’s top 50 protein processors, producing nearly 650 million pounds of food product each year for grocery stores and restaurants across the United States. Headquartered in Iowa, with additional production facilities in Utah and Illinois, the new Kansas City facility represents the company’s first expansion into Missouri.

The accompanying cold storage space will be operated by Vertical Cold Storage, which provides comprehensive cold storage services for frozen and refrigerated foods. It will be the company’s sixth location nationwide.

"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to expand our signature protein offerings with our new premade grab-and-go sandwich program," said Brandon Achen, CEO of West Liberty Foods. "Based on its proximity to key stakeholders for the project, Kansas City is the ideal location to house our newest technology, and we look forward to the growth this area has to offer."

“Not only is Kansas City a leading logistics hub, it is also an exceptional place to live and work. West Liberty Foods’ decision to place a world-class facility in our community is proof that we are growing a community for all. Port KC has led the efforts to transform 49 Crossing, the industrial zone that includes I-49 Industrial Center, into a thriving area for more than 5,000 quality jobs in south Kansas City,” said Jon Stephens, president & CEO of Port KC.

Kansas City’s location has contributed to the continued attraction of food and beverage companies to the region, which ranks No. 8 among the top 50 food manufacturing markets in the U.S. for three-year job growth.

"At EDCKC, one of our main focuses is job creation," said Steven Anthony, executive director of business development at the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, Missouri. "This addition of almost 600 new, well-paying jobs is a great economic driver for KCMO."

The Kansas City region, where 85% of the U.S. population can be reached in two days or less, has experienced rapid growth as a food and beverage logistics hub for the U.S. in the last several years.

“More than 675 industrial food and beverage companies call the KC region home, thanks to our proximity to key agriculture markets, advanced logistics infrastructure and strong industry-specific talent pipeline,” said Chris Gutierrez, president of KC SmartPort, an affiliate of the Kansas City Area Development Council. “With nearly 27,000 people employed in the food and beverage industry and a robust network of industrial assets, Kansas City can support leading companies like West Liberty Foods and Vertical Cold Storage with the resources they need to thrive.”

In the last two years, the Kansas City region has attracted food and beverage companies pledging to create more than 1,800 jobs, invest over $486 million and occupy nearly 4.2 million square feet.

About West Liberty Foods
Founded in 1996 under the guiding principles of the Iowa Turkey Growers Cooperative and recognized as one of the top 50 protein processors in North America, West Liberty Foods is a food company who manufactures signature meat and poultry products that can be found in well-known grocery stores and top restaurant chains nationwide. For more information, please visit

About Vertical Cold Storage
Vertical Cold Storage is a full-service logistics solution provider focused on building, developing and operating temperature-controlled facilities. Vertical Cold emphasizes customer care and the satisfaction of supply chain professionals while deploying industry-leading technology. More information is available at

About the Kansas City Area Development Council (KCADC)
Serving the 18-county, two-state Kansas City area, the Kansas City Area Development Council is an economic development nonprofit that promotes the region’s business and lifestyle assets to companies and talent around the world. Working closely with its two states, and 50-plus county and community partners, the region has attracted more than 60,000 new jobs over its 40-year history. KCADC also leads the efforts behind the KC Animal Health Corridor, KC SmartPort, TeamKC, KC Global Design and KC Heartland.

About Greater Kansas City
Home to 2.5 million people, Kansas City is a vibrant metro in the heart of the U.S., known as the “KC Heartland.” The KC region is a center for leading industries including technology, logistics, animal health and entrepreneurship, and is home to a renowned arts community.

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