Home Sweet innovation: Virginia creamery to invest $2.5M in renovation, expansion

Sweet innovation: Virginia creamery to invest $2.5M in renovation, expansion

ice cream in a bowl
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An ice cream company has announced plans for a $2.5 million renovation and expansion in Franklin County.

Homestead Creamery Inc. will construct a new production room and install additional refrigeration equipment and freezers.

The expansion will add two new jobs and will lead to the company purchasing an additional $1.9 million of Virginia-produced cream over the next three years.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services worked with Franklin County on the project.

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin approved a $20,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Facility Grant program. Franklin County will match the state grant with local funds.

“On the heels of celebrating Virginia Dairy Month and Virginia Agriculture Week, today’s announcement of Homestead Creamery’s expansion and investment in Franklin County and in Virginia’s dairy industry is another example that Virginia is on the move,” said Youngkin. “I’m grateful to Homestead Creamery for their investment into one of Virginia’s top milk-producing counties and for supporting the growth of Virginia’s dairy industry.”

Founded in 2001 in Burnt Chimney in Franklin County, Homestead Creamery, Inc. utilizes high-quality milk from its network of local dairy farms to produce a variety of premium drinkable milk, ice cream, eggnog and other dairy products that are sold through more than 100 stores in Virginia. The ice cream is available in 29 flavors in 13 states and Washington, D.C.

“Gratitude fills our hearts as we extend our sincerest appreciation to the governor’s office, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and Franklin County, for their generous support of this project,” said Jesse Novak, Homestead Creamery controller. “This grant will fuel our vision for impactful building improvements, empowering us to better serve our customers and community. Together, we’re nurturing growth, innovation and prosperity. Thank you for believing in our mission and investing in our future.”

The Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Facility Grant program supports agribusinesses of all sizes including produce companies, dairy processors, meat and poultry processors, specialty food and beverage manufacturers, greenhouse operations, forest product manufacturers and more. The fund also supports aquaculture projects such as oyster production and nurseries producing native plants for stormwater BMPs.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.