Ribbon cutting officially marks the opening of East Hill Creamery
When Gary and Betty Burley began farming in 1981 they had a dream of one day producing an added-value product. On Sunday, the Wyoming County Chamber & Tourism Office, along with friends, family, and local officials celebrated their lifelong dream with a ribbon cutting, officially opening the East Hill Creamery in Perry.
Plans for the creamery began in 2011 when thoughts of passing their farm on to the next generation took hold. The Burleys weren’t quite ready to retire and felt the timing was right to pursue their dream. Four years later, construction of the plant began and by 2016 the first of many cheeses began aging in the caves – an enclosed environmentally controlled area used specifically to age cheese.
The Burleys started their farm with a small herd of 18 cows on 100 acres of farmland on the East Hill (Route 20A) in Warsaw. Today, East Hill Farms milks 700 cows in a rotational grazing system. When deciding on what types of cheeses to make, they chose to make a product that would emphasize the flavors in the milk derived from the grasses, herbs and flowers their cows eat in the pasture.
All of the cheeses at East Hill Creamery are produced with raw milk, meaning, the milk is not pasteurized before it is made into cheese. The cheese goes through a 60-day aging process that naturally pasteurizes it. The French Alpine style of cheeses allows the Burleys to exhibit the high quality, grass-fed cow's milk that they use to produce the cheese.
“What a great day it is for East Hill Creamery, Wyoming County, and our business community,” said Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce President Scott Gardner. “We are so fortunate to have a great business that is sourcing local dairy, producing world-class cheese, and providing jobs. Congratulations to Gary and Betty Burley and thank you for making the investment here in Wyoming County.”
The couple also introduced their family and employees during the ceremony and gave an emotional thank you to everyone gathered for the strong support their business has received since opening.
Several local restaurants hosted food stations throughout the open house including the Hole in the Wall Restaurant in Perry, Glen Iris Inn in Letchworth State Park, and Wendy’s Pantry & Country Mouse Tea House, and Suzea’s Gluten Free Bakery and Café, both in Mt. Morris. The eateries provided food made with East Hill Creamery cheeses. The Wyoming County Dairy Princess, Kim Evans, was also on hand with members of her royal court including Dairy Princess alternate Danielle Herrick, and Dairy ambassadors Abby Schreiber and Brenda Martin.
East Hill Creamery offers a wide array of products: including their signature cheeses, cheese baskets and trays; East Hill Creamery merchandise; grass-fed butter and crème fraiche from Kriemhild Dairy Products; fresh bread and baked goods from the Hole in the Wall Restaurant on Saturdays; olive oils and balsamic vinegars from Cosimano and Ferrari; fresh pasta from Bozza Pasta; truffles and barks from Dolce Bella Artisan Chocolates; local honey from Log Cabin Acres and Castile Cider Mill; beef sticks from Wilson Beef Farm; local eggs, and local maple syrup.
Regular business hours are Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. More information on East Hill Creamery, located at 346 S. Main St. can be found by calling (585) 237-3622 or at www.easthillcreamery.com.
See related: The cheese industry is making a comeback in Perry