Westby Cooperative Creamery grant to expand distribution of bagged-fresh-yogurt dispensing system
May 3, 2019
Westby Cooperative Creamery has received a Dairy Processor Grant from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) for the purpose of expanding distribution of an innovative bagged-fresh-yogurt dispensing system to schools, colleges, hospitals, and other such institutions across Wisconsin. The initial focus will be community school districts.
This unique bagged-fresh-yogurt dispensing system was developed for user-creation of single-size, fresh yogurt parfaits. Westby Cooperative Creamery has been working in a close partnership with the developers of this innovative dispensing system, Perfect Parfait Holdings LLC, Frisco, Texas, on what is now a market-proven system in the breakfast and snack serving areas of major hospitality chains. Perfect Parfait has been awarded more than 25 patents on their fresh dispensing system in the USA and Europe, with several other countries currently in process.
Says Russ Vulpitta, CEO of Perfect Parfait:
“We could not have chosen a better partner for this new business venture than Westby Cooperative Creamery. Their history of award-winning, farm-fresh quality in cultured dairy foods production, along with their entrepreneurial spirit as a farmer-owned cooperative, and their daily can-do/will-do attitude of cooperation; makes us proud to call this Wisconsin dairy cooperative our valued partner. Together, over the past few years, we have proven the performance of this bagged-fresh-yogurt dispensing system in the hospitality/lodging industry; and are ready to expand into new markets.”
Adds Mark Rutlin, sales manager of Westby Cooperative Creamery: “With consumer demands for more healthful foods, more fresh foods, and more locally-produced foods; we knew this self-serve dispensing system would be ideal for making farm-fresh yogurt parfaits in schools, colleges, hospitals, and other institutions. With this Wisconsin Dairy Processor Grant, we’re ready to take our locally-made yogurts; made with the country goodness of the highest-quality fresh milk from the small family dairy farms of our member-owners; all of which is Grade-A and rBST-free into local schools across our great state.”
The partnership with Westby Cooperative Creamery is just the beginning of the connections that the Perfect Parfait company has within the state of Wisconsin.
A company in Cedarburg, GHL Industries, handles the importing of manufactured components, final assembly, and quality control of the finished dispensing units, along with logistics and other services under direction of Perfect Parfait. And, the investors in Perfect Parfait have direct ties to businesses in Wisconsin.
Pete Kondrup, general manager of Westby Cooperative Creamery, says:
“I believe we are known within the Dairy Foods Industry for what we like to call – Westby Ability and Agility – our ability, with batch-processing production systems, to handle smaller product runs; and our agility, as an independent and farmer-owned cooperative, to respond to the needs of our customers as a true partner in their business.”
For Perfect Parfait, that ability and agility was needed for the packaging of a bagged, fresh-yogurt product to be easily loaded on-site into the dispenser casing. Total package weight of the clear bag is 14-pounds, providing 56 4-ounce servings of yogurt per bag. A specially designed bag-filler machine was installed by Perfect Parfait in the Westby Cooperative Creamery production facility for final bagged-product packaging.
Initially, two flavors of the bagged-fresh-yogurt products will be available for schools. These are Creamy Low-Fat Plain and Creamy Low-Fat Vanilla. Other flavors may follow in the future, and Greek-Style yogurts. Gordon Foodservice will be the primary distributor in fulfilling orders for these bagged-fresh-yogurt products.
In a school cafeteria setting, the dispensing units can be used by service-workers to more quickly and easily pre-make yogurt parfaits for students, to then be served at cafeteria lines, likely in a grade school or middle school. Or, in a high school, the dispensing units could be placed at a self-service station with toppings, where older students could be creative in making their own individual yogurt parfaits. Many schools across the state now provide breakfast, lunch and snack food services for students.
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