(From left) Beth Nielsen, Craig Nielsen, Matt Nielsen, Camilla Nielsen and Eric Nielsen attend the ground breaking ceremony for the Nielsen-Massey Vanillas expansion project. Photo provided.

Specialty food company Nielsen-Massey Vanillas is expanding its Waukegan, Ill.-based headquarters/production facility to include a test kitchen and additional manufacturing and office space.

The company hosted a groundbreaking event Aug. 10 to kick off construction.

“We have been at our Waukegan location for 19 years and we continue to outgrow the space,” says Matt Nielsen, chief operations officer. “Once construction is completed, we will have a 1,100-sq.-ft. test and demonstration kitchen, an extra 24,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing and warehouse space and an additional 4,800 sq. ft. of office space.”

Beth Nielsen, chief culinary officer, said the new test kitchen will allow Nielsen-Massey to develop recipes and products directly in the plant.

“We are looking forward to the opportunity to host our product and recipe development in our own kitchen,” she said. “The space will also be used for demos and events when needed.”

The renovations are set to be completed by December 2011 and are just one of the recent updates made to the historic company.

This summer, Nielsen-Massey debuted new labels and logos-the first revision since 2003. The goal of the transformation was to modernize the brand image and give meaning to the seal, which continues to be a central design element for the brand.

Nielsen-Massey Vanilla, makes a full line of pure vanilla products, and also recently introduced a line of pure flavors.

In addition to its Waukegan production facility, the company has a plant in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands.

For more information, visitwww.nielsenmassey.com/.