Growing yogurt maker moves office to K’hook

KINDERHOOK–The village Planning Board has approved the site plan proposed by Maple Hill Creamery to move into 5 Hudson Street, a building owned by Paul Calcagno.

Brianna Ringen, director of accounting for Maple Hill Creamery, LLC, attended the public hearing on August 4 to answer any of the Planning Board’s questions. She said the company, which makes dairy products using milk from cows fed only grass, will not sell any of its products from the office building but it will have refrigerators in the basement for samples.

All products and marketing material will list the address of the company as Kinderhook once the company moves in, she said.

“This is great, we’re really excited,” said Building Inspector Glen Smith, who was at the meeting to review the plan.

Mr. Calcagno was also in attendance. As owner of the building he had filed the proposed site plan. He said the creamery expects to have between 7 and 12 employees in the building, known in the village as the Certified Reports Building, and will use the basement and first floor. The second floor of the building is still unoccupied, according to Mr. Calcagno, and can be leased as office space.

Village and Planning Board Attorney Rob Fitzsimmons said that the office will be open during regular business hours and there will be no large delivery trucks in the parking lot, just small vans and the employees’ cars. He said the lighting around the building and in the parking lot will stay the same.

“This is just their office,” said Mr. Calcagno. The products are produced at other sites throughout the state, and one site in Vermont, according to Ms. Ringen.

The company’s offices are currently on Allendale Road in Stuyvesant. A narrative submitted to the Planning Board by Maple Hill Creamery says that during the time the company has been in Stuyvesant “business grew and more farms joined the MHC family. As of 2016 we have over 70 family farms that sell us their milk that we use to make our cream on top yogurt, drinkable yogurt, Greek yogurt, kefir and cheese.”

Ms. Ringen said in a phone interview after the meeting that since outgrowing the plant in Stuyvesant, which the company stopped using to make its products last October, Maple Hill has moved its production operations to plants in New York and Vermont.

The narrative says that the company is “now ready to move our official headquarters to somewhere where we can grow our staff and brand.”

“It’s a slam dunk,” said Planning Board member David Flaherty.

The board voted unanimously to approve the site plan after the hearing concluded. There was no opposition to the plan expressed at the hearing.

During the Planning Board meeting Mr. Flaherty thanked the Village Economic Director Renee Shur for bringing the company to the village. Ms. Shur told The Columbia Paper that she got to know one of the owners of the company when his family moved to the village and through her work on the weekly farmers market in the village, where the creamery sold some of its products.

In an email to the paper, Ms. Shur wrote, “Kinderhook is proud to welcome Maple Hill Creamery to our historic business district. When Maple Hill opens its offices here in fall 2016, it will be the ninth new business to open its doors in Kinderhook since 2014. Maple Hill, whose 100% organic, grass-fed products are sold across the country, will put Kinderhook and Columbia County on the national food map.”

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email

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