Nation Pizza plant in McPherson to close

03/21/2014 5:28 PM

03/21/2014 5:28 PM

A McPherson processed food plant will shut down on May 19, and several hundred employees will lose their jobs.

The Nation Pizza and Foods plant at 1144 W. Bridger Court employs 95 full time and between 20 and 100 temporary workers at any one time.

The plant is a contract maker of food products for other companies. The McPherson plant made pizzas, appetizers, small appetizers, calzones, strombolies and filled cookies.

Some of that work will move to the company’s main plant in Schaumburg, Ill.

Company president Richard Auskalnis said the plant’s products were just too good — and expensive — for the market.

“The plant made great gourmet products,” he said, “but the rates at which we produced it was not cost competitive with our competition, which makes cheaper products.”

Nation bought the plant in 2002.

The company is holding job fairs to try to find new jobs for the plant’s workers, he said.

“This is just too bad, they’re a great bunch of people,” Auskalnis said.

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