By Marney Simon | Enterprise Staff
After half a century of providing employment and giving back-to the community, the village of Plainfield is recognizing a local distilled for their contributions to the community.
On July 17, Mayor Mike Collins signed a proclamation declaring Sept. 29 as Diageo Day.
The village is recognizing the 50th anniversary of the construction of the Diageo plant, Collins said.
The original 150,000 square-foot facility was built by the Distillers Company on 33 acres north of the village.
The original facility employed 85 people with three production lines, two gin stills, and one vodka processing column. The site was capable of producing up to 7,000 cases per day.
“For more than 30 years, the facility has remained a relatively small operation, primarily producing Gordon’s Gin and Gordon’s Vodka,” Collins noted.
The tornado in 1990 nearly razed the site, however, the site’s future dramatically changed with the formation of Diageo in 1997, and the introduction of Smirnoff Vodka to the facility one year later.
In September of 2001, Plainfield celebrated the opening of its 90,000 square foot Smirnoff Ice facility, increasing the site’s annual production capability by 12 million cases.
The company is being recognized not just for employment opportunities come out expansion, and growth, but also for the many ways it has given back-to the community over the years.
Following September 11, the company did their part to help relief efforts through the Diageo Spirit of America fund.
When a major flood struck the area in 2013, Diageo decided to close down operations in order to work on sandbag efforts and to provide food and water to volunteers.
“After several multi-million dollar site expansions over the past 15 years, the Plainfield plant is Diageo’s premier North American manufacturing facility, with 10 production lines generating millions of cases annually and employing hundreds of citizens in the Will County area,” Collins said.
Representatives from the company received a plaque of recognition honoring the company’s anniversary. Trustees noted that the plant is a big asset to the community.
“It’s truly an extraordinary plant,” said Trustee Bill Lamb. “The fact that they dedicate time to the community is extraordinary as well, so thank you so much for being here. We’re honored to have you here.”
The Diageo plant produces popular spirits including Captain Morgan, Crown Royal, and Bulleit.
The spirits produced in Plainfield are distributed worldwide.