Posted December 15, 2009

Gillette Creamery to Invest $5.7 Million and Remain in Ulster County and New York State Over 70 Jobs Saved. Company Plans to Create New Positions

Kingston, NY (December 15, 2009) - Ulster County Executive Mike Hein and Empire State Development announced today the retention and expansion of Gillette Creamery in Ulster County. Gillette Creamery is the largest ice cream distributor in eastern New York and employs 60 people in Ulster County and 12 people in Albany. The company will be moving from its present site in Ellenville, New York, to a larger facility in Gardiner, New York. To facilitate its expansion, Gillette will invest $5.7 million and add 10 additional employees over the next few years.

Gillette Creamery grew out of its current Ellenville, New York location after an expansion just 5 years ago. After an exhaustive two-year search for a new and more suitable location in the Ellenville area, Gillette began considering relocation options. The State of Vermont presented significant financial incentives to encourage a move there. The financial incentives would have helped Gillette build a larger facility and take advantage of new, out-of-state distribution opportunities.

A partnership between Ulster County and New York State aided in helping secure the assistance needed for Gillette to retain and expand its New York operations. Empire State Development provided a $600,000 grant and an additional $400,000 was secured from the Ulster County Revolving Loan Fund (UCRLF), administered by Ulster County Development Corporation (UCDC). Area lending institutions including Rondout Savings Bank, Catskill Hudson Savings Bank and New York State Business Development Corporation are also participating.

“This is a real win for the people of Ulster County. I am pleased that we were able to persuade Empire State Development to provide the essential funding needed to preserve a strong business in Ulster County,” said County Executive Mike Hein. “In this economy retaining jobs is of paramount importance. Although Gillette will be moving from Ellenville to Gardiner, all of its current employees will keep their jobs. Ellenville residents can commute to Gardiner, however they can’t commute to Vermont.”

"Gillette Creamery has been faced with the difficult business decision requiring us to move from our current Ellenville location which we have outgrown. The Company looks forward to expanding operations in Gardiner and continuing to employ our currentstrong workforce to whom the Company remains committed,” said J.B. Gillette, President of Gillette Creamery. He added, “Gillette Creamery looks forward to working with the Village of Ellenville and Town of Wawarsing to ensure the continued productive use of the Ellenville facility. County Executive Michael Hein’s help in getting the assistance of New York State and the Revolving Loan Fund ensured that Gillette could remain in Ulster County.”

“For more than two decades Gillette Creamery has called New York its home. A successful family-owned small business, it has grown from a four person staff to more than 70 employee’s to-date,” said Empire State Development Chairman & CEO designate Dennis M. Mullen.“At the urging of County Executive Hein we came together with the Ulster County Revolving Loan Fund because we recognize the contribution small businesses make to our economy and the obstacles they face. Gillette’s decision to recommit to Ulster County speaks volumes to what New York provides to businesses, and its dedication to seeing businesses like Gillette, continue to grow and thrive in New York State.”

It is very satisfying to know that UCDC’s efforts contributed to Gillette Creamery’s decision to remain, as it has always been an Ulster County company,” stated Lance Matteson, President of Ulster County Development Corporation. “Our staff worked diligently alongside the County Executive’s and ESD to keep this family-run business, and all of its jobs, here. We look forward to many more decades of success for Gillette Creamery.”

"Ulster County is committed to keeping every local business we can. Gillette Creamery is owned by committed local residents who want to continue doing business here. The message from the Executive and Legislature is clear- We will do everything possible to keep our local businesses local," said Hector Rodriguez, Chairman of the Ulster County Revolving Loan Fund Committee