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Lt. Governor encourages General Mills to expand Buffalo plant

WBFO file photo/Mike Desmond

When production is underway and the wind is just right, the smell of Cheerios cereal can find its way throughout downtown Buffalo. New York State is hopeful a half-million dollar grant will encourage General Mills to one day grace downtown with the smells of some other popular cereals as well.

On Friday, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul got a private tour of General Mills' facility on Michigan Avenue, where the popular Cheerios cereal is produced. The Buffalo plant is among several within General Mills competing to secure additional production, namely two of the popular Chex line of cereals, Corn Chex and Honey Wheat Chex.

Hochul urged corporate leaders in Minneapolis to move those cereals to Buffalo.

"That would be in addition to the Lucky Charms and Cheerios made her now," Hochul said. 

The cost to expand operations in order to accommodate the additional cereal lines is estimated at $25 million. New York State is offering $500,000 to support that expansion. That money would come from the Western New York Power Proceeds Allocation Board, which controls funds raised from the sale of unused power generated by the Niagara Power Project. The Board voted earlier this month to approve setting aside a half-million dollars for General Mills.

More than 400 people are currently employed at General Mills' Michigan Avenue plant.

"When you see that 'BU' on the label (within the production code on the box), you know it's made in our hometown of Buffalo. It's a tremendous point of pride for us."

Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.
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