Cal Dairies spreads out facility expansion

California Dairies Inc. is planning to build an ultra filtered milk facility and expand their butter operation at their plant on Plaza Drive in Visalia. File photo.

Dairy leader plans to grow its line ultra-filtered milk in Tipton and expand its butter operation at its Visalia headquarters

VISALIA – California Dairies Inc. is planning to expand its plant in Visalia and its line of high-protein and lactose-free milk.

The Visalia-based dairy leader has submitted plans to expand its ultra filtered (UF) milk line at its Tipton plant, as well as expand its butter operation at its plant on Plaza Drive in Visalia. The two-phase expansion is valued at $1 million. E.A. Bonelli Architects & Engineers submitted the plans that will help process fluid milk more efficiently with a new automated process. The architecture firm has worked with Cal Dairies before, designing projects at its plant in Visalia as well as its 10,000-square-foot powder and butter facility in Tipton.

The total expansion would be about 31,000 square feet yet would add only a handful of new employees bringing a total of 365 workers at the plant.

UF milk is the result of an ultra-filtration process whereby the water and a portion of the lactose naturally present in Grade A pasteurized milk is removed, according to Cal Dairies’ website. UF Milk is sold in full tanker loads to customers who manufacture products such as pediatric and adult nutritional beverages and sports drinks.

According to an industry source, ultra-filtered milk contains nearly twice the protein of ordinary milk with only half the sugar. It is also lactose-free. The process makes milk appealing to a wide range of consumers including the health conscious, lactose intolerant and diabetics.

U-Haul plans 4-story storage facility

U-Haul has filed plans for a four-story, 116,000 square foot storage facility on Mineral King Avenue near Cain Street in Visalia. The building to be constructed will be located at 1818 E. Mineral King with construction valued at $800,000.

U-Haul has announced a dozen similar projects throughout the United States in the last year. The multi-story self-storage buildings typically include more than 700 indoor rooms with climate-control and high-end security features at affordable price points. The sites provide customers access to a retail showroom with boxes, moving supplies, hitch accessories, bike racks and more. They typically employ between 10 and 20 people at similar sites.

In addition to its moving truck and trailer rentals and supplies, U-Haul is the third largest self-storage operator in North America with 967,000 rentable units and 83.3 million square feet of self-storage space at owned and managed facilities.

Daily Deals pops up at former Toys”R” Us

Retail discounter and liquidator DailyDeals has opened another location in the Central Valley. The company moved into the former Toys “R” Us storefront at Whitendale Avenue and Mooney Boulevard in Visalia earlier this month. Offering cheap merchandise the company says they have bikes, speakers, car sets, air fryers and much more for just $12! Daily Deals already had stores in Fresno and Bakersfield.

With a TikTok advertising bent, Daily Deals says it “buys truckloads of overstock merchandise, store returns, discontinued items and much more from top retailers across the country. We buy in bulk, so you can save your money – all at a fixed price! Our stocking days are Fridays and Saturdays.”

Groundwater levels rise

Ample rainfall in the past year has boosted groundwater levels around the Valley as of February 2024. The latest numbers in Tulare show the average standing water level depth at 192 feet, representing a 16-foot rise from a year ago (208 feet).

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