Empire Cheese Moving to Ashville

A cheese manufacturing plant is moving to Chautauqua County, and bringing a couple hundred new jobs with it.

Empire Specialty Cheese Company will take over the former AFA Foods Plant in Ashville.

The $6 million project that includes renovating the building and buying new machinery and equipment is expected to create 204 jobs over five years after the project is finished next year. The project is also expected to create new demand for local milk production and potentially re-employ workers at the facility that were terminated less than two years ago.

“In Chautauqua County and Western New York, local businesses like Empire Specialty Cheese are expanding, investing in their community and creating new jobs for New Yorkers,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo. “This company’s choice to invest in economic improvements in Western New York is another example of what can happen when state government partners with businesses to help them succeed.”

Empire State Development, the state’s economic development agency, assisted Empire Specialty Cheese Co., LLC with its expansion project by providing $650,000 in Excelsior Job Program tax credits.

Senator Cathy Young said, “New York’s cheese and dairy industry is a robust and thriving part of our agricultural sector and one of our state’s greatest economic assets. This expansion will reinvigorate our local economy, create hundreds of valuable jobs, and promote Chautauqua County-produced cheese products across the state. My hat is off to Empire Specialty Cheese and all the local and state officials who worked together to bring these new jobs to our community.”

The Empire Specialty Cheese Co., LLC began in 2000. It currently makes fresh ricotta and mozzarella cheese. The new plant will allow the business to process and package cheese for private labeling and expand the product lines to include a wide variety of cubed and shredded cheeses.

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