Wegmans Food Markets Inc.’s $36 million Culinary Innovation Center became fully operational last week, greatly expanding the company’s ability to conduct research, research, develop and manufacture ready-to-eat and prepared foods, according to a published report.
A 53,000-square-foot addition to the Rochester, N.Y.-based grocer’s meat shipping and receiving facility, the center is an R&D test kitchen for the creation of new food products, in addition to serving as a central kitchen and meat production area to prepare soups, sauces and raw materials used in either Wegmans private label items or prepared foods. The center is also where employees will assemble heat-and-eat meals.
An older food preparation facility will be torn down, company spokeswoman Jo Natale told the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. The new center considerably boosts Wegmans' food production capacity: Instead of the five 100-gallon kettles the old facility had, the current central kitchen boasts five 200-gallon kettles.