The pizza making factory is back in business.

For several years McPherson has been plagued by one business after another trying to make a go of an obviously nice factory facility along the Old Highway 81 Bypass, just across the road from the McPherson Airport.

Unbeknown to many in the community, the factory not only is back up and running, but has been for nearly a year now and is ready to expand its visibility and production capacity.

For those who don’t know, the current manufacturer has been DI Manufacturing, but that is about to change as the company switches in identification and is now operating as Wald Family Foods.

According to a press release from Jasmine Irvin, Wald Family Foods Human Resource Specialist, the name is a direct reflection of the family commitment to quality products, produced in world-class facilities, in a family-friendly work environment.

The facility in McPherson will show reflections of the change in the coming weeks as they receive and install signage around the building.

Beyond the name change, Wald Family Foods is also pleased to announce a need to increase their production ability which means moving beyond the current first shift and adding a second shift of production July 15.

The addition of the second shift is directly due to the growing demand for the products they make and means they will have plenty of new positions opening immediately, including production line assistants, warehouse assistants, quality supervisors, quality technicians, electro-mechanical technicians, refrigeration technicians and production managers. Wald Family Foods is looking for passionate workers from the area to fill these positions. Anyone interested may apply either by going to their location at 1144 Bridger Court in McPherson or by sending a resume to jirvin@waldfamilyfoods.com.

Wald Family Foods owns and operates several food manufacturing facilities in the Midwest with the daily operations directed by CEO Tony Wald, Executive Vice-President of Sales and Marketing Tommy Wald and Executive Vice-President of Operations Bob Wald.

A native of Grand Island, Nebraska, McPherson Plant Manager Ray Cooper, noted that while the plant has been operating for nearly a year, it was the addition of new equipment the Oct. 1 that picked up the pace of production while running just one shift from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“We currently have a workforce of about 40 individuals working with just one shift per day while co-packing pizza for several brands and companies,” said Cooper. “With the need for more production, we will be adding the second shift with hopes of expanding the number of employees to between 65-70 by the end of July.”

The plant here in McPherson can also claim fame to being number one in America as they make gluten-free pizza and Wald Family Foods is currently America’s No. 1 gluten-free pizza manufacturer.

According to their website, Wald Family Foods has perfected the art of crafting delicious, crisp, gluten-free pizza crust that’s perfect for anyone’s plate while giving customers the opportunity to choose a crust made from cauliflower, broccoli and more – each in a variety of sizes to meet the customer’s needs.

Wald Family Foods takes pride in understanding that a gluten allergy shouldn’t keep anyone from great tasting food and that’s why they go the extra mile to make a variety of delicious gluten-free options available for all divisions of food service and retail.

All the company facilities are Safe Quality Food Certified which means they are qualified to supply nearly any and all organizations and suppliers.

Cooper pointed out that another advantage to the McPherson operation is its location and access to moving products north and south, or east and west without much difficulty.

“I’m lucky in that a sales rep I knew a couple of years back suggested to me that our company should check out the nice facility sitting empty in Kansas,” added Cooper. “From their we did some checking and crossed paths with Kasi Morales, the Executive Director of MIDC (McPherson Industrial Development Company) and things developed quickly from there. We are pleased with how things have gone so far and look forward to increasing production which will increase the need for qualified help, all of which in turn helps build and support the local community and area.”

So next time you may be driving past the McPherson Airport, take a quick glance to the east side of the highway and notice the change and pride that we have again with the new folks in town – Wald Family Foods and their gluten-free pizza, number one in America.