The food processing and preparation facility for 'The Higher Taste' is expected to open later this year.

City councilors, community members, and city staff from both Cornelius and Forest Grove gathered Friday morning, Feb. 8, to help kick off construction of a large new facility setting up shop in the city of Cornelius.STAFF PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER OERTELL - Cornelius City Council President Dave Schamp introduces The Higher Taste co-owner Rhonda Wrobel during a groundbreaking ceremony at the construction site in Cornelius on Friday, Feb. 8.

Later this year, a 17,194-square-foot food processing and preparation facility for the company The Higher Taste is expected to open its doors on the southwest corner of North 10th Avenue and North Holladay Street, employing 60 people with positions including production, marketing and sales, deliveries, supervision, and administration.

"We are here to celebrate the groundbreaking of a brand new facility for The Higher Taste, and this is exciting stuff for us here in Cornelius," Cornelius City Council President Dave Schamp said during the groundbreaking ceremony. "The Higher Taste provides delicious ready-to-eat vegetarian and vegan foods for our region."STAFF PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER OERTELL - The Wrobel family, Jon, Hans, Rhonda and Abe throw dirt during the groundbreaking ceremony for the new facility.

The local family-owned company, which was started in 1987, specializes in savory vegan and vegetarian fare, with 10 flavors of burritos, or "buzzitos;" "happy hoagie" sandwiches; and "gourmet" deli salads sold in grocery and natural food stores, coffee shops, and various cafeterias, including hospitals and college campuses.

"The Wrobel family and the City of Cornelius have been working together for over two years to get to this point today, and we are honored to have been able to work with that wonderful family to bring this exciting business to our city," Schamp said. "Many in the city of Cornelius have been working hard for the last several years to change the image of our city, to streamline the services and improve the services that we provide to our citizens and businesses, and this really is an affirmation that that hard work is starting to pay off. So it is really, really exciting for our community to have this new and wonderful business breaking ground here today."STAFF PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER OERTELL - Modified versions of some of the products that The Higher Taste makes were provided for attendees to sample after the ceremony.

Co-owner Rhonda Wrobel thanked the community for welcoming her family's business and said she looks forward to being a part of the community.

"This new facility that we are building here in Cornelius will allow us to take our business to the next level," Wrobel said. "We are looking forward to having a strong presence here in the community of Cornelius. We plan to hire 60 people over the course of three years. We thank Cornelius for giving us this opportunity to grow and all the wonderful people who have helped turn our dream into a reality."STAFF PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER OERTELL - A smaller version of The Higher Taste's 'happy hoagie' sandwiches were displayed during the event for people to try.  STAFF PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER OERTELL - Founder Rhonda Wrobel spoke about the business and thanked the city of Cornelius for welcoming them into the growing city.

By Olivia Singer
Reporter, Forest Grove News-Times and Hillsboro Tribune
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