Riley Cooks Up Success in Food & Beverage Processing Construction

From sausage and beer to cheese and cranberries, many of our favorite foods originate right here in Wisconsin. That’s because our state’s diverse crops and availability of fresh water offer the ideal climate for food and beverage manufacturing. Today, Wisconsin is home to more than 1,400 food and beverage processing companies.[1]

Since Riley Construction was founded in 1965, the company is honored to have constructed many food and beverage processing facilities throughout Wisconsin. Our team delivers these projects via multiple methods including design/build, construction manager at risk, or general contractor. We pride ourselves on making it a joy for clients to partner with us by creating strong relationships, maintaining clear communications, and ensuring outstanding project management.

Riley meets challenges head-on, striving to make every project as turnkey as possible for our food and beverage industry clients. Our team works with suppliers to facilitate the installation and coordination of processing equipment to ensure that everything is integrated effectively. We employ BIM (Building Information Modeling) to allow for precise planning and coordination, providing seamless integration of facilities and equipment during the construction process.

The highest standards of hygiene are maintained through meticulous precautions to avoid any potential contamination during the completion of a construction project. We also invest significant time to consider every aspect of a building that will be used to guarantee food product safety and quality – from the size of the refrigeration unit needed to the most appropriate HVAC and climate control system.

Here are a few examples of our food and beverage industry projects.

Ripe for expansion

Heartland Produce, a full-service wholesale produce distributor, hired Riley in 2021 as the general contractor for its 205,907 square foot refrigerated distribution center and company headquarters in Kenosha. The company has experienced steady growth that led to this exciting expansion of office space and the addition of ten separate coolers for different types of produce, including 7 3-tier banana and avocado ripening rooms. Despite pandemic-related supply chain delays, our team was able to complete the project in May 2022 – ahead of schedule and under budget. Riley and Heartland Produce were honored to be named the Daily Reporter’s Top Project in Commercial Construction.

Birchwood Foods Welfare Expansion – Paris, WI

Building on Excellence

For over 60 years, Riley has partnered with Birchwood Foods as they expanded their successful food manufacturing business. We recently provided construction management services for their 175,000 square foot corporate headquarters and HACCP-compliant food processing facility, which houses lab/research and development spaces as well as packaging facilities and quality control/assurance. As is the case with many of Riley’s projects, work was completed while production areas remained operational.

Riley has also worked with Birchwood on its expansion into new markets, including Norcross, Georgia. In this project, we handled demolition and abatement for two existing buildings to make way for a production facility featuring new spice induction, cooking, freezing, and pack-off equipment. The project involved complex challenges with the building’s foundation, so Geofoam blocks were used instead of soil to reduce vibration and compaction.

“I believe Riley sets itself apart from the competition based upon the personal attention their team gives to each project and the care they take in making sure projects have the right amount of resources and appropriately experienced staff to exceed our expectations,” said Dennis Vignieri, President and CEO, Birchwood Foods.

Vonco Products – Salem, WI

Running towards innovation

Vonco Products, a Wisconsin-based manufacturer of innovative packaging and components, recently partnered with Riley on a 170,000 square foot expansion which included design and build services for a freestanding food printing/packaging facility, manufacturing warehouse, and office space.

The specialized project included an ink room with a recessed floor, masonry walls, and precast plank ceiling, a concrete apron and pad with fenced enclosure to house an oxidizer, and a mezzanine area for chiller and compressor equipment. Vonco leaders appreciated the on-time project completion despite the supply chain issues many projects faced during the pandemic.

We are proud to partner with Wisconsin food processing companies and work in a vital Wisconsin industry that represents $82.7 billion in sales and 282,000 Wisconsin jobs. [2]

To learn more about Riley Construction, visit and reach out to Project Development Manager Alex Egan at