Matrix food packaging equipment maker expanding in Ozaukee County

Founded in 1988 in a home garage in Ozaukee County, Matrix Packaging Machinery’s equipment is now used in food distribution across the continent, and it is growing in Grafton to continue manufacturing all of its proprietary machine components in Wisconsin.

“Over the next three years, we plan to double our production, and of course we would love to hire local talent,” said Marc Wolf, vice president and general manager.

Matrix Packaging signed a long-term lease for a more than 70,000-square-foot Grafton industrial building. Landlord Luther Group of Elm Grove plans renovations to the facility, which formerly housed an automotive parts painting company.

“The need to go to Grafton is to be in a local community in Ozaukee County for the convenience of our employees, to maintain our current supply chain in Wisconsin, but also to grow,” Wolf said.

Matrix Packaging will move there from an about 45,000-square-foot facility in Saukville. About 71 people currently work at Matrix Packaging, about 15% of whom work remotely. The move will start later this year and be complete by March 2023, Wolf said.

Matrix Packaging makes manufacturing equipment for the food and beverage industry. The end product is the plastic bags that hold coffee, rice, frozen peas of French fries and a variety of other products found on grocery shelves. Matrix’s products take a roll of plastic film and handle all of the processing needed for the fully packaged food to come out the other end.

Wolf said the proprietary parts of its manufacturing equipment is either made in-house or by Wisconsin suppliers.

“That’s dear to my heart, to keep our manufacturing vital and successful,” Wolf said.

Matrix currently belongs to ProMach Inc., a Kentucky-based owner of more than 40 packaging businesses.

The lease with Matrix Packaging refills a facility that Luther Group bought empty in February.

“We are thrilled to be undertaking this long-term partnership with Matrix. This lease transaction illustrates the robust and continued velocity of deal flow in the Milwaukee area industrial market,” said Dave Merrick, vice president of development and acquisition at Luther Group.

The city of Grafton Plan Commission is to review a conditional use permit request for Matrix Packaging during its Sept. 27 meeting.

Jeff Hoffman of Cushman & Wakefield|The Boerke Co. Inc. represented Matrix in its lease. Bob Flood and Derek Yentz of Founders 3 Real Estate Services represented Luther Group.

Sean Ryan, Milwaukee Business Journal

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