Chobani to be served during inauguration festivities

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced Friday that Chenagno County’s own Chobani Greek Yogurt will be served throughout the Capitol to special guests before the start of the 2013 Inaugural Ceremonies.

Schumer, chair of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, said Chobani will provide vanilla and plain yogurt to be served with strawberries, pineapples, pears and granola toppings to Inaugural guests, including the president, vice president and their families.

“We’re incredibly proud of our New York roots and honored to be a part of the Inaugural Ceremonies as we look towards America’s future,” said Hamdi Ulukaya, Chobani founder, president and CEO. “The Chobani story demonstrates that the American spirit is alive and well and proves that if you truly believe in something and work hard, anything is possible.”

Schumer said the choice of Chobani Greek yogurt shows the strength New York’s dairy industry, which is a significant part of the economy in upstate New York, supporting over 1,200 direct local jobs.

“Serving Chobani Greek Yogurt before the Inaugural Ceremonies shines a spotlight on one of New York’s biggest, and most delicious, dairy companies,” said Schumer. “President Obama, Vice President Biden, members of Congress, the Supreme Court, the Cabinet and all VIPs attending the Inauguration will get a chance to try some of the best Greek yogurt in the country. I’m pleased to be able to showcase a fantastic New York company.”

Chobani Greek Yogurt was founded in 2005 with the help of a SBA 504 loan, and first hit store shelves in 2007. In just over five years, the company has skyrocketed from start-up to a $1 billion business, employing over 1,700 worldwide. Chobani has production facilities in New Berlin and a newly constructed 1 million square foot facility in Twin Falls, Idaho.

The yogurt will be available throughout the Capitol in the hours leading up to the ceremony, and will be offered to members of both political parties in all three branches of governments, former presidents and vice presidents, and other dignitaries.

After the Inaugural ceremonies conclude their will an Inaugural luncheon held for President Obama, Vice President Biden, members of Congress, the Supreme Court and Cabinet members. The luncheon menu will feature a number of New York products including Golden Harvest Orchards Apples in the third course featuring a Hudson Valley apple pie with sour cream ice cream, aged cheese, and honey. The apples are from Golden Harvest Orchards in Valatie, Columbia County. The honey will come from Seaway Trail Honey in Rochester. Cooperstown Cheese Company, in Otsego, will be supplying the cheese. Two of the wines to be served along the first and second course also hail from New York. Three vineyards in the Finger Lakes Region, Anthony Road Winery, Fox Run Vineyards, and Red Newt Cellars, have collaborated to produce a Tierce 2010 Finger Lakes Dry Riesling. A 2009 merlot from Bedell Cellars, from the North Fork of Long Island, will be served alongside the second course.

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