Land O'Lakes, Inc., Arden Hills, Minn., announced plans to acquire Vermont Creamery, in which Vermont Creamery will become an independently operated subsidiary of Land O'Lakes, and will continue to produce fresh and aged goat cheeses, cultured butter and fresh dairy at the Websterville, Vt., headquarters creamery.
"We have always taken seriously our commitment to our farmers, employees and Vermont's working landscape—these values are at the core of our decision to sell the business," says Allison Hooper, co-founder of Vermont Creamery. "As we experience unprecedented growth, we need a partner who can bring the resources and expertise necessary to help us realize our vision and the potential of our business."
"We purchased Vermont Creamery and welcome them to the Land O'Lakes family because we love their brand and would like to help bring it to even more people," says Chris Policinski, president and CEO of Land O'Lakes. "We share a value-added, branded approach to marketing our products, a meaningful respect for our customers and deeply rooted rural values."
Hooper and Bob Reese, co-founder of Vermont Creamery, will serve as trusted advisors and brand ambassadors for the business. President Adeline Druart and the leadership team will remain in place, as will all of Vermont Creamery’s employees. Ayers Brook Goat Dairy is not included in the transaction. The Hooper family will retain ownership of the farm, which will continue to serve as a key supplier to the creamery and catalyst for the growth of the goat dairy industry in Vermont. The terms of the acquisition will not be disclosed.
"Vermont Creamery's heritage mirrors our own here at Land O'Lakes—a company founded by people who care about bringing the highest quality products from farm to fork," says Beth Ford, group executive vice president and COO of Land O'Lakes. "We are excited about the culture of product innovation they have built in addition to the category itself and the opportunities for even more expansion."
"After years of thoughtful planning and a rigorous selection process, we are confident that we have found the best steward of our business, values and people in Land O'Lakes. We are both respected dairy brands with deep connections to farmers and an unyielding commitment to quality and innovation. We look forward to this opportunity to tell our story more broadly and increase access to our high-quality dairy products," adds Reese.
"Bob and Allison have been such incredible entrepreneurs building Vermont Creamery's success and mentoring the team on their vision and values for the business,” says Druart. “Partnering with Land O'Lakes adds the next key ingredients for our growth—additional resources and dairy expertise. This transaction positions Vermont Creamery for continued success in the future."
Vermont Creamery is a premiere producer of fresh and aged goat cheese, crème fraîche and cultured butter. In 2014, it was dubbed as the second cheesemaker in the world to earn B Corp certification.