French artisanal cheese makers flourish in Columbia County
The Hudson Valley has long been a hotbed of economic opportunity for the food and beverage industry. From global powerhouses such as Pepsico, Kraft and Heineken downstate to emerging specialty farms upstate, the valley continues to be the epicenter of agribusiness in the state of New York. Joining recently in the ever evolving agricultural business community was the Hudson Valley Creamery located in Livingston, NY.
European parent company, Groupe Euriel, a global dairy company and leading producer and marketer of cheeses from goat and cow’s milk, selected Columbia County as the location for its first United States processing plant. According to Tim Turner, lead counsel for Groupe Euriel and instrumental in the Columbia County site selection decision, upstate New York was selected in part because of its rich dairy history and the proximity to major population centers such as Boston and NYC.
The Creamery located at 2986 Route 9 in Livingston is a former Entenmann’s facility that has been renovated to accommodate the production of artisan-style goat cheese. Groupe Euriel in 2012 converted a 41,000 square foot former Kraft Foods plant into a processing facility for an array of specialty cheeses and the Hudson Valley Creamery took shape.
Euriel’s cheese making history dates back nearly 120 years. They are the leading producer of cheese in France with operations in over sixty countries. The company has been present in the United States for over two decades under its wholly owned, Rhode Island based subsidiary, Couturier North America, LLC. According to Pierre Geurin, President of Couturier North America, the company’s brands have been imported to the U.S. since 1982 and are in the top 5 goat cheese brands in the U.S. Couturier is now looking to advance its brands by having production plants in New York State and here locally in Columbia County. Currently, the Hudson Valley Creamery is the only east coast facility for goat cheese production.
“One of the key reasons for relocating to Columbia County was the availability of the factory space that could be adapted to our specific needs,” states Geurin.“ We also liked the reputation that the Hudson Valley has for upscale, artisanal products.”
The company’s move has had a significant economic impact on the county. In addition to creating a substantial number of jobs for the local work force, the Hudson Valley Creamery patronizes area service providers ie, engineers, contractors and accountants, energy providers and other food purveyors like Ginsberg’s Foods.
For more information about Hudson Valley Creamery, visit their website.