Cookie Production is Back in Ripon

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RIPON, Wis. (WBAY) - The sweet smell of success is coming back to Ripon. Less than a year after the final cookie plant closed, in a town that prided itself on its confectionary creations, wafers are once again being baked in the cookie capital.

Ripon wafer cookie factory

There are currently 26 people working for Signature Wafers LLC, the Long Island, NY based company that is bringing new life back to a cookie factory in Ripon.

"We're running new product, we didn't run these products back then and so it's all new, so it's kind of exciting where it's going to take us," says Sherry Schoenberger, one of the Signature Wafers employees.

Closed last year after its former owners discontinued production of wafer cookies, the facility went up for sale, just as Signature Wafers was looking to expand its production. After looking at the facility and meeting the people who are passionate about wafer production, signature wafers decided Ripon was the perfect fit.

According to Rob Kowitt from Signature Wafers, "Instead of buying a line, we actually went out and bought a full plant, so now instead of having one production line we actually have six wafer production lines, five being in Ripon, WI and the other one here."

While only about 30 employees have currently been brought back by the new owners, workers here tell us they are confident in the new product and think their future looks sweet.

Employee Chris Dretske says, "I think the future is going to be strong. We're hoping to get a three shift operation and they're really pushing, they're going to food shows and everything and I think it's going to be great."

Proprietary equipment prevented us from being allowed inside the facility, but workers say being back, working side by side, with their family will only mean good things for them and the Ripon community.

"We got a second chance at a job that we enjoyed. In this economy, we don't hear that much anymore, so we're going to try and make it the best we can and keep it up and going," adds employee Kathy Wunrow.

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