WATERLOO — The third time appears to be the charm for the old Greenwood Foods plant on Swift Street.
The first two manufacturers of specialty milk products that cater to ethnic Indian markets tried and failed to thrive at the facility in the past 10 years.
But the third owner, Deep Dairy Products, is now planning to modernize and expand, adding up to 39 new employees over the next five years.
The expansion is aided by the Empire State Development Corporation, which is providing up to $700,000 through the Excelsior Jobs Tax Credit Program in exchange for job creation commitments. The Waterloo Village Board and the Seneca County Industrial Development Agency also are providing financial assistance through grants and loans.
The company is part of the Deep Foods Group of companies headquartered in Union Township, New Jersey. The upgrade to the 61 Swift St. plant will create up to 39 new jobs while retaining the current 36 jobs. The modernization will allow additional products to be manufactured on site that previously were made by third-party suppliers and will increase the amount of milk needed from local dairy farmers.
Deep Dairy Products specializes in the making of paneer cheese, ghee and yogurts for the Indian market.
The Waterloo plant is now supplying the cheese and yogurt ingredients for many of the Deep Foods frozen food entrées made at the company’s New Jersey plant. Deep Foods had previously bought these raw materials from third-party suppliers.
The planned upgrade of the Waterloo facility will allow Deep Dairy Products to increase capacity beyond raw materials production and start manufacturing yogurts, lassi, a popular Indian yogurt beverage, and other dairy products for retail sale on a large scale under the new brand name Deep Indian Kitchen.
The upgrades, which already are underway, will include the renovations of the nearly 27,000-square-foot facility and the installation of state-of-the-art machinery and equipment. The company expects to complete the upgrades in late 2023.
The two prior Indian milk product companies that operated in the plant in the past 10 years were Gharana and Summit Milk Products.
“We acquired this plant in May of 2018 and are excited to now be manufacturing quality paneer cheeses, yogurts and other dairy products in Waterloo,” said Deepak Amin, Deep Foods CEO. “The abundant supply of high-quality local milk and Waterloo’s business-friendly attitude have confirmed that last year’s purchase of this plant was the right decision and this is the best location for us to expand our dairy product production.”
Amin said the incentives provided by the state “enhanced the feasibility of this project and influenced our decision to expand and modernize the Waterloo plant rather than buy an alternate facility or use a third party to produce our retail dairy products.”
Waterloo Mayor Jack O’Connor said Deep Dairy represents a resurgence in large scale food production within the village, consistent with the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council’s comprehensive strategic plan.
“Further, Deep Dairy brings another global presence to the village,” O’Connor said. “We have worked hard in fostering a business-friendly environment and we are grateful to have Deep Dairy, which is affiliated with the largest manufacturer and distributor of Indian food products in the United States, locate a large manufacturing facility in our village.”
IDA Executive Director Bob Aronson said the project has been 10 years in the making “and has all the hallmarks of a classic economic development story.”
“From its start as the vacant Mott’s/RealLemon building to its transformation to Deep Dairy Products, our IDA team and board have been proud to partner in this project all along the way,” Aronson said. “We’ve been steadfast in our support and solid investment and job creation have been the results.”
He thanked O’Connor, Village Administrator Don Northrup and Subodh Amin, “whose introduction to Deep Foods paved the way for today’s announcement.”
“We are excited for Deep Dairy’s future and Seneca County’s future now that we’re officially on the global food production map,” Aronson added.
Founded in 1977, Deep Foods Inc. and its affiliated companies employ nearly 4,800 people across the globe.