Hiram Walker and Sons Ltd. on Friday announced a further investment in its Windsor production and bottling facility, as part of its $8 million investment in the site this year.
This investment includes a $1 million grant from the Government of Ontario’s Ministry of Agriculture as part of its support for the food processing sector.
The investment will allow the facility to produce new product lines and increase production by 230,000 cases of liquor.
The Hiram Walker facility in Windsor serves as a North American centre for innovation and new product development, information technology, procurement and purchasing.
"We have been a strong part of the Windsor manufacturing community for over 150 years, and this investment is part of our continued commitment to the growth of the company and the region," Hiram Walker and Sons president Patrick O'Driscoll, said in a news release. "The new production volume will benefit our workforce as we smooth out the variability in seasonal peaks to offer more stable employment, and result in enhanced partnership opportunities for our customers."
With more than 280 employees, the Hiram Walker facility is one of Windsor's largest employers and the only "grain to glass" operation in Ontario.
Hiram Walker and Sons currently supports the Essex and Kent Counties' agriculture industry by purchasing 4.2 million bushels of local grain annually.
"Today's announcement is exciting news for our city and region," Mayor Eddie Francis said in a news release. "The Hiram Walker facility is a landmark in Windsor, both for its longstanding role as an employer and its contributions to this community. This investment will not only allow for much needed job stability in our city, but it will help Hiram Walker attract new production opportunities and expand its product innovation."
Corby Spirit and Wine, which is majority owned by Hiram Walker & Sons Limited, will transfer the production of some of its brands, including McGuinness and Meaghers liqueurs, to the Hiram Walker facility. That transfer is expected to begin in the fall of 2014.
New equipment will also allow the plant to manufacture smaller quantities of brands, allowing greater flexibility for new product innovation.