A titan of cheese, Leprino Foods is a worldwide leader in mozzarella-making. The company sells its soft cream-colored cheese to food manufacturers and to pizza purveyors large and small, including such powerhouse pizza companies as Domino's, Papa John's, and Pizza Hut. In addition to mozzarella, the company's products portfolio boasts string cheeses and reduced-fat cheddar and Monterey Jack. Aside from its cheese business, Leprino operates a dairy powders segment that provides whey protein concentrate, lactose, and functional proteins for use in animal feeds, yogurt, baby formula, confectionery, and baked goods. Leprino sources its milk from the nation's largest dairy co-ops.
Headquartered in Denver, Leprino has 10 cheese-making operations located throughout the US in California, Colorado, Michigan, Nebraska, New Mexico, and New York. Overseas, the manufacturer operates a pair of plants through a joint venture in the UK. Leprino has a UK-based joint venture -- Glanbia Cheese -- with Irish cheese maker Glanbia, a top cheese maker in Europe.
The cheesemaker, which holds more than 50 production and manufacturing patents, makes most of its money providing other companies with its products. To ensure that it can keep churning out cheese and other dairy items, Leprino in 2011 opened a $200 million cheese plant in Colorado that has the capacity to process 7 million pounds of milk daily and produce more than 700,000 pounds of cheese per day.
It's also expanding into Singapore. Leprino operates a business center there that features an Innovation Studio where chefs work to develop cheese and other dairy products for the Asia-Pacific market. The company aims to cater to US and European restaurants that set up shop in the region.
Sales and Marketing
The world's largest food company, Nestlé, is a customer. Nestlé leverages Leprino to supply ingredients for manufacturing Hot Pockets and Stouffer's microwave pizzas.
Leprino Foods is owned and managed by the Leprino family.
Italian immigrant Michael Leprino Sr. founded the company in 1950. Company chairman and billionaire James Leprino has been listed in the Forbes The 400 Richest Americans and The World's Billionaires. – less
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$66,760 per year