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Mary Beth Wood
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CREAMWORKS CREAMERY NAMED 2014 INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR
           

HONESDALE, PA, November 21, 2014—Wayne Economic Development Corporation (WEDCO) is pleased to announce that Creamworks Creamery of Creamton, PA, has been selected their 2014 Innovator of the Year.
           

The award, given annually by WEDCO to a business that promotes job creation and enriches Wayne County’s character and uniqueness, was presented to Creamworks at a special luncheon held Friday, Nov. 21, at The Mansion at Noble Lane, Bethany.
           

Creamworks is a four-year-old creamery operated by Riverside Farm's Chuck and Amy Theobald and their children.  Multi-generation dairy farmers, the Theobalds realized they could not sustain their farming operation on the sale of milk alone.  In 2010, they diversified their business model and built a Grade A bottling plant.  Today, they are bottling more than 1,000 gallons a week with a growing customer base.
           

"We are delighted with Creamworks selection of Innovator of the Year," said WEDCO Executive Director Mary Beth Wood. "Wayne County has a rich history of dairy farming and Creamworks is an excellent example of blending tradition with innovation to accomplish sustainability."
           

Guest speaker was K.C. Smith, General Manager of the Delaware, Lackawaxen, & Stourbridge Railroad (DL&S).  The DL&S is the operating entity for the Stourbridge rail line that runs from Honesdale to Lackawaxen.
           

For the past three decades, Mr. Smith has been involved in railroading both in operations and the railroad excursion business.  He worked for the New York, Susquehanna and Western Railroad, first running their steam passenger train excursions, and then for 10 years as Trainmaster.
           

He is a co-founder and past President of the Volunteer Railroaders Association, and served for five years as the Operations Vice President, and then President, of the United Railroad Historical Society of New Jersey.  He has also served as a board member for the Railroad Passenger Car Alliance, a national passenger car owners and operators organization.
           

Mr. Smith spoke about the status of the Stourbridge rail line and what he envisions for its future.

 

Creamworks Creamery
     

Chuck and Amy Theobald took over the operations of Riverside Farm from Amy's parents, Clarence and Lois Fitze, who started farming there in 1956.  Over the years, they discovered that hard work alone would not be enough to sustain the family business.  Prior to 2010, when farmers were getting as little as $11 per hundred weight ($0.88 per gallon), the Theobalds made the decision that things would have to change.  The milk check was not covering the farm's costs.  At that time, whenever a farmer milked a cow, he or she was losing money.  Seeing the situation was unsustainable, the Theobalds decided "to invest more money to create more income" and began the creamery operations.
     

It took more than a year of research.  The Theobalds visited other creameries, learned about government requirements, designed a plan for the bottling facility's layout that would meet required regulations, processed mounds of paperwork, worked out a financial plan and set out to convince a lender to back their enterprise.
      

"It was a long and scary process," Amy reported.  In the end, they built a bottling plant that meets Grade A qualification.  Among other advantages, this enables them to sell their milk out of state.  Once the bottling operation was up and running, they found new challenges with marketing.   She credits the Farm Bureau and PA Milk Marketing Board for helping to get their product on grocery shelves.
     

Today, the farm bottles once a week, makes deliveries once a week, and Amy makes ice cream sometimes twice a week as needed.  The next step in the creamery's growth may be a bagging machine that will enable them to process five-gallon bags of milk to sell to institutional purchasers.
     

The Theobalds are proud of their product.  Where big industry has taken the fat out of milk, "we only take it down to what the State requires.  We don't take out the solids.  We don't take out the protein.  Our milk tastes like milk should taste," Chuck said.
     

Innovation is required to be in the dairy business and make a living, and the Theobalds keep on top of all the latest information by reading as much professional literature as possible.  Through educating themselves and consulting with experts, they have increased both efficiency and productivity of their 80-cow herd.
     

"You can't compete unless you stay on the cutting edge of everything," Chuck reported.  Running a successful dairy farm these days requires science and technical knowhow.  And as it always has, it requires unbelievably hard work.

WEDCO saluted the Theobald family as leaders in the field of dairy farming who pursued and advanced not only their small business, but advanced agriculture as a viable economic pursuit for Wayne County's future.

For more information about WEDCO, visit www.wedcorp.org.

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Photo:  Creamworks Creamery of Riverside Farm, Creamton, PA was recently honored as the 2014 Innovator of the Year by Wayne Economic Development Corporation (WEDCO).  Shown left to right:  Amy and Chuck Theobald, owners of Creamworks, KC Smith, General Manager of the Delaware, Lackawaxen and Stourbridge Railroad who served as guest speaker at the Innovator event, and Mary Ellen Bentler, WEDCO President.
 

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