Mexico’s largest pasta manufacturer, La Moderna, opened a new $50 million United States headquarters and production facility in Cleburne on Tuesday.
The new 150,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art production, manufacturing, and distribution facility marks the company’s first physical U.S. property, and the beginning of an expansion of its presence in the U.S.
La Moderna held a celebratory event with a ribbon-cutting and ceremony attended by Gov. Greg Abbott, Mexico Secretary of Foreign Affairs Luis Videgaray Caso, Cleburne Mayor Scott Cain, and La Moderna Chairman of the Board Luis Miguel Monroy.
Located at 1929 Sparks Drive in Cleburne, the project sits on 16.5 total acres, is capable of producing nearly 4,000 tons of pasta per month, and is responsible for creating 100 direct and 300 indirect new jobs for the city of Cleburne and greater Johnson County.
“We are proud to not only have built La Moderna’s first facility in the United States, but also to have created one of the most high-tech and self-sufficient factories in the history of food manufacturing,” said Monroya. “The end result reflects the convergence of our Mexican heritage and dedication to product quality, Texas’ entrepreneurial spirit and business-friendly climate, and unparalleled state-of-the-art production technology. This truly marks the pinnacle of La Moderna’s goal of becoming a household name, not just in Mexico, but in the United States.”
“It is because of investments like this that the Texas economy continues to be the envy of the nation for economic growth and job creation,” said Governor Abbott. “Today’s grand opening represents more than an economic investment; it is an investment in the Cleburne community, the state of Texas, and the Texas-Mexico relationship. I thank the Interamerican Foods Corporation and La Moderna, and I look forward to continuing to strengthen this partnership.”
Founded in 1920, Toluca, Mexico-based La Moderna has been exporting to the U.S. for 25 years, with 20 percent of total sales coming from the U.S. market. In 2017, La Moderna registered $520 million in total sales and sold more than 570 million pounds of pasta products. La Moderna currently exports to 25 countries in North America, Central America, South America, Africa, and Europe, and operates seven pasta production facilities throughout Mexico, in Guatemala, and in Texas,
Other specifics include:
• State-of-the-art technology including ergonomic palletizing workstations, voice-directed systems, temperature-controlled storage, and radio frequency scanning (RFS)
• $2 million in dynamic digital displays, state-of-the art control systems, and interactive technology with multilingual content
• Robotic warehouse automation
• Microbiology, chemistry, research & development, pathogen, food safety, and product analysis labs
• Sustainable design elements including low-profile raised flooring, 100 percent high efficiency LED lighting, LED technology-powered digital displays, daylight-optimized building footprint, high-performance glazing systems, and a rainwater recovery system
By the numbers:
• $50 million: Total project cost
• 16.5 acres: Total land size
• 150,000: Total square footage
• 3 years: Time it took to build
• 100: New direct jobs
• 300: New indirect jobs
• 2: Number of robots providing warehouse automation
• 7.4 million: Pounds of production per month
• 8,818: Pounds of production per hour
• 291: Pounds of production per minute
• 7 hours: Amount of time the system can hold production without packing or vice versa
• 5 hours: Amount of time it takes to load an empty trailer full of product
• 6: Number of equipment lines
• 660: Number of packages produced per minute
• 35: Number of boxes prepared per minute
• 5: Number of storage levels
• 16: Number of trailers/trucks served at one time
• 6,000: Number of pallets that can be stored at once
• 4: Number of railroads that intersect with and provide direct access to La Moderna