CHENANGO COUNTY – In today’s part two of the three part series highlighting local manufacturers, Commerce Chenango has chosen to spotlight Sunrise Family Farms, Inc. of Norwich, NY.
Co-owned by three local farmers, they have shown an outstanding example of resiliency and passion for not only business growth, but their commitment to their customers and employees.
Sunrise Family Farms, located on State Hwy 23 in Norwich, is a local yogurt manufacturing plant that produces a variety of dairy and specialty yogurts including cup sets, Greek style, and drinkables. As there are no cows present at this farm, the dairy used for the creation of their delectable goods is sourced from local area creameries.
Although the farm spent many years focusing on cultured dairy products, the hub of the business has always been meeting the needs of their customers. Over the past few years, consumers have shown an increased desire and demand for specialty products including organic, kosher, and plant based non-dairy consumables. When this shift first began, it felt a bit foreign for the company co-owners, three traditional multigenerational farm boys. But ultimately, they knew they had a responsibility not only to their business and customers, but also to their employees. The decision to adapt to the changing times was needed to ensure their business would continue to flourish for years to come.
At the farm, the intention has never been to compete with the “big guys”. The farm does not even have their own brand of products, instead, they sell their goods to multiple other companies who each have their own distinctive marketing features. When the products are ready, they are sent to the Sunrise Family Farm warehouse in Greene, NY, which handles the transport and delivery of the products. Between the Norwich plant and the Greene warehouse, there are currently 80 full-time employees working over 3 separate shifts, 5 days a week.
Co-Owner Charlie Rheinshagen said, “We have been very fortunate and blessed that we have been able to build a tremendous base group of employees that have stood with us through growth, financial difficulties, and most recently the pandemic. While we all have our struggles with finding enough employees these days we have been extremely lucky to have such a good group of people working with us.”
Commerce Chenango would like to thank to Co-Owners of Sunrise Family Farms- Dave Evans, Charlie Rheinshagen, and Sandy Grant, as well as their wonderful staff of employees, for continuing their extraordinary efforts to keep their business flourishing and moving Chenango County forward.
To learn more about Manufacturing Day or to participate in a virtual learning experience, visit www.creatorswanted.org. To learn more about Commerce Chenango visit www.commercechenango.com.
By KarriAnn O’Connor,