ESI Group Does More than Provide Design-Build Services

fresh-kitchen-facilityFor a quarter of a century, ESI Group, Hartland, Wis., has been providing specialized design-build solutions to food manufacturers, processors and distributors nationwide. Clients include food processors (meat, cheese, bakery, poultry, organic, beverage, fruit and vegetable), food distribution (grocery, foodservice, cold storage) and prepared foods providers like Cargill, Kerry Ingredients, Land O’Frost, McKee Foods, Nestlé USA, Performance Food Group, Nueske’s, Sysco, The Bama Cos, US Foods, United Natural Foods (UNFI) and WinCo Foods, among others.

“We take pride in our history, our work and our long-term client relationships,” says Brad Barke, president. “Our success is driven by avoiding disputes and providing value to help businesses thrive.”

Here’s a snapshot of some of ESI Group’s major projects from this year:

Award-Winning Commissary Fresh Kitchen Facility

ESI Group designed and constructed a Greenfield commissary kitchen facility for Caito Foods’ Fresh Kitchen processing line. The 133,000-square-foot Indianapolis-based building boasts a conventional steel superstructure with insulated metal panels and TPO roofing and a fully automated and computer-controlled central ammonia refrigeration system. The building’s layout separates associates working with raw goods from associates who process finished goods. This project received a Gold Projects of Distinction Award from ABC’s Wisconsin Chapter.

Skilled in Providing Sustainability Features

After two years of meticulous research and planning, Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Meats selected ESI Group to expand its Wittenberg, Wis., manufacturing headquarters facility. The 108,000-square-foot expansion utilized additional energy saving systems such as ammonia refrigeration, LED lighting with motion detection and vertical storing dock levelers.

State-of-the-Art Cold Storage

Des Moines Cold Storage, Des Moines, Iowa, selected ESI Group to build a 120,000-square-foot cold storage facility. Named Crossroads Cold Storage to accentuate Des Moines’ location, this 120,000-square-foot facility is scheduled to open early 2017, and will service its customers’ growing processing and distribution needs.

Distinguished and Extreme Refrigeration Beyond Food Processing

Grifols, a pharmaceutical manufacturer with a global headquarters in Spain and a U.S. headquarters in California, hired ESI Group to re-engineer the temperature-controlled areas and construct the entire Plasma Logistics Center in Clayton, N.C., from the ground up. The 83,500-square-foot, award-winning building consists of a 90-foottall AS/RS rack-supported freezer utilizing three AS/RS machines capable of storing 5,000 pallets at -31°F. The expansion, completed in 24 months, also included insulated metal panels, a pre-action sprinkler system, redundant power feeds from two different substations and freight and personnel elevators. The European Medicines Authority (EMA) inspected the facility stating there was nothing worldwide that compares with the quality of both the design and construction.

Rebuilt LEED Silver-Certified Facility After Mother Nature Strikes

ESI Group designed and rebuilt a 272,000-square-foot Greenfield facility for US Foods’ Flowood, Miss., location after it was struck by an EF-3 tornado. The facility was constructed in 12 months, and features a hybrid central refrigeration system, shrinkage compensating floors, pre-cast concrete walls and insulated metal panels. This facility services more than 4,000 chefs, restaurant owners and foodservice operators throughout Mississippi and Louisiana, and is US Foods’ second distribution center to achieve LEED certification.


“Continued improvement in all phases of project delivery, emphasis on recruiting Millennials into the construction field and keeping current on changing technology for managing, designing and constructing food processing facilities,” says Barke. “By managing each project from concept to completion and maintaining a distinguished safety record, we’ve achieved an 85% rate of repeat clients.”



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