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An excavator made quick work of SunOpta's old office building on 3rd Avenue West last week. The company is making a major reinvestment on the site, adding a new warehouse-office facility. (Photo by Al Edenloff)

SunOpta starts big project

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news Alexandria, 56308
Alexandria Minnesota 225 7th Ave E
P.O. Box 549
56308

A big project is taking shape at the SunOpta Ingredients plant on 3rd Avenue West in Alexandria.

Demolition crews used heavy machinery to tear down the front part of the building last week and the site is being prepared for a new 27,000-square-foot warehouse with a 1,000-square-foot attached office.

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The project is being done in response to a fire that burned down the company's unattached warehouse in January 2011. Building a new warehouse and having it attached to the office will make things run more efficiently, according to Mark Tagatz, vice president of operations.

The project is in the $3 million range. Construction will continue through the winter and is expected to be finished next June.

Established in 1987, SunOpta is a food ingredient supplier and manufacturer specializing in custom spray-drying, dry-blending, liquid separation, clarification and fermentation. It's the largest producer of shelf stable soymilk in the U.S.

It has two facilities in Alexandria - 3rd Avenue West and Minnesota Street. Locally, the company employs about 200 people.

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