CLEVELAND--Miceli Dairy Products, a longtime Cleveland company, will remain a Cleveland company for some time.
The company and a host of officeholders and business people broke ground Thursday for a massive $16 expansion.
The company is a leading manufacturer of Italian ricotta, provolone and mozzarella cheeses. It is distributing products around the country and has hopes of going global.
It's been at its present location on East 90th Street near Buckeye Road for 62 years.
The family came from Sicily, began dairy farming, but went into the cheese business after losing its biggest customer during the Great Depression.
The location is in a neighborhood called the Forgotten Triangle.
Miceli views its location as an advantage, being near the Cleveland Clinic, downtown and two highway interchanges.
The company plans to add 60 new jobs to a present work force of 138 as the expansion progresses.
The $16 million project will include new production facilities, a test kitchen, welcome center and a facility to make energy out of bio-waste.
John Miceli said, "The end result will allow us to double our production."
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson commended the company for resisting possible moves to the suburbs and staying in Cleveland.
"We should appreciate the choice to stay in Cleveland...They are taking a risk in Cleveland, in this neighborhood," he said.
The Micelis say they are dedicated to workers and to hire from the surrounding neighborhood.
John Miceli said, "They go from being employees, to being acquaintances, to being friends, to being family."
Joe Miceli had a message for those who appreciate the company's commitment to Cleveland's inner city.
"We need you to eat a lot of cheese," he said.
The city, Cuyahoga County, the State of Ohio, the Port Authority, Huntington Bank and the Small Business Administration all have a slice of this deal.