×

Burke Manufacturing Corporation: Open for expansion

Meat production company plans to grow

NEVADA — A Story County business that has its meat toppings distributed across the entire country recently announced an expansion of its Nevada-based facility.

Burke Manufacturing Corporation, which creates meat products that are put on frozen pizzas, announced a plan in 2018 to expand manufacturing by 210,000 square feet, nearly doubling the current 225,000 square foot site.

The company said more than 200 jobs will be created by the expansion.

Burke is a manufacturer of fully cooked meat products for use in food service, manufacturing and other industries, and includes a wide range of crumbles, meatballs, pepperoni, diced meats and other products.

“Our company specializes in high quality, fully cooked, custom product formulations and we sell products from coast to coast as well as internationally,” said Tracy Brown, vice president of operations at Burke. “Additional staff will closely represent the team we currently have, with a mix of positions such as warehouse and shipping professionals, quality assurance professionals, maintenance professionals, and production professionals at several starting grades, just to name a few.”

Burke has also been receiving help by the Nevada City Council.

Before the groundbreaking last fall, a need to process the projected increase in wastewater volume from the expansion was identified. The Nevada wastewater facility improvements, previously identified by the City Council, wouldn’t be finished until 2023, not soon enough for Burke’s 2020 spring opening.

Brown said Ames agreed to handle the extra wastewater while the Nevada wastewater facility completes renovations.

He added the company and the community work well together.

“We are committed to be an active and engaged corporate partner in the community,” he said. “We have partnered with our local schools, hospital, and other great agencies in the community and will continue to do so as we build for the future. We are extremely proud of our team and the passion, dedication, and engagement they put forth every day. It’s because of them that our expansion is possible.”

History

The company started in 1957 in Ames under the name of Pronto Foods, where it was a frozen pizza manufacturer, according to Brown.

“Bill Burke Sr. joined the company as the operations manager in 1964 and purchased the company in 1967,” Brown said.

Seven years later, in 1974, the frozen pizza portion of the company was sold, and Burke “began producing and marketing fully-cooked products under the new name of Burke Marketing Corporation,” according to Brown.

The company employs about 350 people, and its parent company is Hormel Foods Corporation.

“Burke meat products are sold throughout the United States as well as internationally and standard recipes or customized formulas requested by customers,” Brown said. “The solutions we bring to the marketplace continue to gain momentum, along with the other value-added Hormel businesses that Burke supplies. This momentum, along with increased customer and consumer demand for precooked, high quality, consistent products, has put us in a very advantageous position and our expansion will allow us to deliver on these customers’ expectations for many more years.”