Rain or shine, 2020 is slated to be a big year for Sweet Grass Dairy. Marking its 20th anniversary, the company is getting ready to move into its new state-of-the-art facility, effectively expanding its presence and upping its ability to meet rising demand.
“Everyone is, of course, champing at the bit to be able to work from our new shiny facility, which we are scheduled to move into by early October,” Mallory Sofferin, Marketing Coordinator, told me. “But this is also a milestone moment of nostalgia. The rebrand is a strong signifier of that next phase of growth, in this is the perfect way to follow that, but it is also a marker of our small family-run operation, while still very much family-run, we won't be so small anymore.”
Spanning upward of 15,000 square feet, the new facility will be able to produce five times the amount of Sweetgrass’ original plant. For reference, the company produced 380,000 lbs of cheese last year.
"We began discussing the process of building a new facility way back in 2013, but decided to open a restaurant first,” Jessica Little, Co-Founder, shared of this next step. “We started working with Leon Lynn, our architect, in 2015 and although this whole process was a lot longer than we anticipated, it gave us time to visit many other creameries around the U.S. and France to figure out our true needs. It also allowed me to do the Goldman Sachs 10KSB program to help write an aggressive growth strategy."
The fruits of that research and experience can be found in the lemonade the team is making of 2020. As for the original facility, which is housed on the same property as the founding family, Mallory and Jessica assure me that it will stay in the business.
“The new generation will still have that connection, though we are still discussing ideas of how the space will be utilized,” Mallory said, sharing some advocate paintballing is great for the creative process of innovative cheeses. While I will side with that theory, she points out that Sweet Grass’ mail order program has skyrocketed with COVID-19 necessities in place and the holidays coming soon.
So it seems that there is still yet more news on the horizon for the dairy provider. Be sure to stay tuned as we report the latest.