Frito-Lay has moved local distribution of its products to a new, larger facility in Burlington.
For months, visible steel frame girders and onsite construction have no doubt prompted passing motorists to wonder what was being built next to Casebine Credit Union at 435 W. Burlington Ave.
Frito-Lay this week started operating a 6,600-square-foot center built by Brus Construction LLC of Blue Grass, replacing its use of a 4,000-square-foot, leased metal warehouse in West Burlington.
Frito-Lay, a subsidiary of PepsiCo, manufactures, markets and sells snack foods.
"We are moving from a ground-level facility to a dock facility, better for safety," said Benjamin Jones, North Central Region facility manager for Frito-Lay.
"The biggest difference," said builder Chad Brus, is "two bathrooms, a conference room and an office bigger than the current one," besides three docks for route trucks and one for semi-trailers.
The truck-level docking bays are designed to help prevent knee and back injuries to drivers unloading and loading Frito-Lay products like Cheetos, Munchos, Tostitos and Ruffles, arriving from Frankfort, Indiana, to be delivered to local retailers like gas stations and grocery stores, Jones said.
According to Safety and Health magazine, about 25% of all warehouse injuries occur during loading dock operations.
Brus said he is leasing the building to Frito-Lay through his company, Midwest Property Holdings.
Landscaping will include green space and trees, he said.
The facility has security cameras and two entrances. It will be a better location for delivery routes, and will add a few jobs, Jones said.
"We will add one sales rep and eventually add drivers," he said. "We are always looking for people to work here. A route sales rep job is open."
He said people can look for jobs with Frito-Lay at fritolayemployment.com.
Jones said he's unable to disclose the new building's cost.
The Texas-based company's website says its history started when C.E. Doolin in 1932 bought a recipe for corn chips from a small San Antonio cafe, made the snacks in his mother's kitchen and sold them from his Model T Ford.
That same year, Herman W. Lay started his potato chip business by delivering snack foods and then purchasing the manufacturer. In 1961, the companies merged.
In 1965, Frito-Lay Inc. merged with Pepsi-Cola to form PepsiCo.
This article originally appeared on The Hawk Eye: New Burlington Frito-Lay distribution center has more space, safety