Land O’Lakes Inc. announced this week that it has acquired Vermont Creamery.
Vermont Creamery Co-Founders Bob Reese and Allison Hooper and Land O’Lakes, Inc. President and CEO Chris Policinski made the announcement in a joint press release, noting that the former company will become an independently-operated subsidiary of the latter.
“We purchased Vermont Creamery and welcome them to the Land O’Lakes family because we love their brand and would like to help bring it to even more people,” said Policinski. “We share a value-added, branded approach to marketing our products, a meaningful respect for our customers and deeply rooted rural values.”
Vermont Creamery will continue to produce its award-wining fresh and aged goat cheeses, cultured butter, and fresh dairy at the creamery in Websterville, Vermont.
“We have always taken seriously our commitment to our farmers, employees and Vermont’s working landscape—these values are at the core of our decision to sell the business,” said Hooper. “As we experience unprecedented growth, we need a partner who can bring the resources and expertise necessary to help us realize our vision and the potential of our business.”
Vermont Creamery’s founders noted that Land O’Lakes is the ideal new owner. The farmer-owned food and ag cooperative, operating for more than 95 years, will assume ownership of the 33-year-old creamery, adding its products to Land O’Lakes stable of brands—including its iconic butter brand, Purina Animal Nutrition, and WinField United.
“Vermont Creamery’s heritage mirrors our own here at Land O’Lakes—a company founded by people who care about bringing the highest quality products from farm to fork,” said Beth Ford, Land O’Lakes EVP and COO. “We are excited about the culture of product innovation they have built in addition to the category itself and the opportunities for even more expansion.”
Reese and Hooper will serve as advisors and brand ambassadors for the business, and President Adeline Druart and the Vermont Creamery leadership team will remain in place, as will all the business’s employees. The Hooper family will retain ownership of Ayers Brook Goat Dairy and continue to serve as a key supplier to the creamery.
“After years of thoughtful planning and a rigorous selection process, we are confident that we have found the best steward of our business, values and people in Land O’Lakes,” Reese added. “We are both respected dairy brands with deep connections to farmers and an unyielding commitment to quality and innovation. We look forward to this opportunity to tell our story more broadly and increase access to our high-quality dairy products.”
Having entered the market at a time when Americans rarely ate goat cheese, Vermont Creamery has since grown to become a premiere producer of fresh and aged goat cheese, crème fraiche, and cultured butter. According to the press release, the company has garnered hundreds of awards, has a burgeoning national distribution, and hopes to continue its commitment to their community, employees, and the environment under new ownership.
“Bob and Allison have been such incredible entrepreneurs building Vermont Creamery’s success and mentoring the team on their vision and values for the business,” noted Druart. “Partnering with Land O’Lakes adds the next key ingredients for our growth: additional resources and dairy expertise. This transaction positions Vermont Creamery for continued success in the future.”
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