Pasta Montana opens $6.5 million processing line

by Eric Schroeder
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Pasta Montana milling line
The new line will move 4,850 lbs of pasta per hour.
Photo courtesy of Great Falls Montana Development Authority.
 
GREAT FALLS, MONTANA, U.S. — Nippon Flour Mills-owned Pasta Montana marked its 20th anniversary on Aug. 21 by opening a $6.5 million processing line in Great Falls. The new line will increase production capacity by 28%, allowing Pasta Montana to produce 80 million pounds of pasta a year at its 91,000-square-foot facility, up from 55 million pounds.

“Our new production line will move 4,850 pounds of pasta per hour, and operate 24 hours each day, enabling us to continue to grow our staff,” said Randy Gilbertson, chief operating officer of Pasta Montana.

Founded in 1997, Pasta Montana was acquired in the spring of 2000 by Nippon Flour Mills, Japan’s oldest industrial flour miller and a leading producer of flour-related products.

“Japanese ownership strengthens our commitment to quality,” Gilbertson said. “We benefit from having the strong financial backing of a solid, established, publicly-traded Japanese company.”

Miharu Kobayashi, chief executive officer of Pasta Montana, and Hiroshi Sawada, CEO of Nippon, joined Japanese representatives for the consul general of Japan and U.S. relations at the Great Falls facility on Aug. 21.

“We are appreciative of the great nature and nice people from the state of Montana,” Sawada said. “We are happy with the success of our business in Great Falls.”

Collin Watters, executive vice-president of the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee, added, “Pasta Montana’s success proves that agri-processing operations are thriving in the Great Falls region. From locally owned Montana Specialty Mills and Timeless Seeds to major global companies such as General Mills, Grain Craft and Malteurop, companies worldwide are turning to our region for our robust agriculture and agri-processing industry.”

Pasta Montana manufactures more than 70 dry pasta shapes, including petite shells, orzo and fettuccine. With multiple long goods and short goods pasta lines. 

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