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Washburn’s sells business to Fieldbrook

December 31, 2012
By LEVI PASCHER , The Leader Herald

GLOVERSVILLE - Washburn's Dairy, which first opened in 1922 and has been passed on through three generations of the Washburn family, is getting new owners.

Washburn's, which makes ice cream and other frozen dairy products, sold the business to Fieldbrook Foods of Dunkirk, Chautauqua County.

"They are going to put money into this place to do more business by modernizing the production," Washburn's owner Butch Washburn said.

Washburn's has approximately 50 employees, but Fieldbrook plans to "double the production," according to Washburn.

He declined to give the selling price. He said he thinks Fieldbrook will continue to use the Washburn's name.

Washburn said since the family had no one to pass on the business to, the family had been considering offers for the last three years.

"We had people coming and looking at the business, but everyone that looked wanted to close the facility down and move it somewhere else, just taking the business," Washburn said. "Fieldbrook came to me last July, and they wanted to come here, keep all the employees and add people, so this will be good for Gloversville."

Washburn said business has been increasing the past couple of years. It serves New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Jersey and Vermont.

He said Fieldbrook officials will be at the facility this week to look at production and talk to employees.

President and CEO of Fieldbrook Foods, Kenneth Johnson, did not return phone calls seeking comment.

According to the Fieldbrook Foods website, the company operates two manufacturing facilities, one in Dunkirk and another in Lakewood, N.J. It is capable of producing more than 120 million dozen frozen novelties and 25 million gallons of ice cream annually. Its products are distributed to all 50 states, Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico.

"I hope the city embraces the people taking over and helps them any way they can," Washburn said. "I wanted to keep the business local, and I am pleased we could do that."

Butch Washburn had been working alongside his business partner and cousin, William Washburn, for many years until William Washburn died earlier this month.

Butch Washburn is the third generation of the family to own and manage Washburn's Dairy at 145 Main St.

Levi Pascher covers Gloversville news. He can be reached by email at gloversville@leaderherald.com.

 
 

 

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