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In December 2012, the New York-based Greek yogurt company began making yogurt at it’s new manufacturing facility in Twin Falls, Idaho.The company announced in 2011 plans to build it’s second U.S. manufacturing plant. Chobani chose Twin Falls. The company has said it plans to hire up to 500 people once the facility starts operating at full capacity.Hamdi Ulukaya founded the Chobani Greek Yogurt company in 2005. According to Chobani’s website, Ulukaya threw himself into the yogurt business after he saw an ad for a recently shuttered Kraft yogurt plant in his local newspaper. He purchased that facility.By 2007, Chobani Greek Yogurt could be found in New York grocery stores. By 2010, it became the number one selling Greek yogurt in the country.

Chobani Opens New Research And Development Center In Twin Falls

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Rachel Cohen/Boise State Public Radio
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Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya speaks before the opening of the new Innovation and Community Center in Twin Falls

Governor Little, Twin Falls Mayor Shawn Barigar and Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya delivered remarks before a ribbon cutting ceremony Monday at the company's new research and development center in Twin Falls.

Chobani has operated the world’s largest yogurt plant in Twin Falls since 2012.

Ulukaya said the company had the community in mind when designing the new 71,000 square-foot building, officially called the Innovation & Community Center. 

“We call it Community Innovation Center because we want this place to be innovative. Not only for Chobani, but for Magic Valley, for Idaho," Ulukaya said.

The building will house the food science arm of the company and a cafeteria, as well as an employee fitness center. There are about 45 research and development employees at the company, and all are based in Twin Falls.  

 

From now on, if you see a new Chobani yogurt flavor in the store, it was most likely developed and tested in this building. But Ulukaya said, soon, you may see Chobani’s name on more than just yogurt.

“It';s a new beginning for us," he said, "because we have always been known for yogurt, but I think going forward starting in January, you’re going to see other products are coming out of here.”

 

The company’s success has been built on Greek yogurt, but earlier this year it launched its first non-dairy, coconut-based product line.

Governor Little and Mayor Barigar lauded Chobani as a company that worked well with city, county and state government to bring industry and jobs to Idaho.

 

"It's such a classic case of what we want to do," Governor Little said.

Find reporter Rachel Cohen on Twitter @racheld_cohen

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