By Cathy DeDe, Chronicle Managing Editor
With the Coronavirus crisis decimating its sales in the New York City market, the Argyle Cheese Farmer business now intends to open a retail store right away in the former Lewis Super building it bought on Burgoyne Avenue in Hudson Falls.
“The virus hit and we lost all our market of distributors in New York City,” said Marge Randles, who owns Argyle Cheese with her husband Dave. They were selling yogurts and buttermilk to restaurants and coffeehouses, that are now “all shut down.”
“We’re going to switch the cart and the horse,” she said, holding off on building out its planned production facility out back in favor of the retail store in front.
They aim to open within three weeks — “we hope,” Mrs. Randles adds.
They plan to sell their own whole milk yogurts, Greek yogurts, cheeses and cheese curds. In the commercial kitchen, they will make cheesecakes, buttermilk honey bread, donuts and coffee, she said.
They are still active at the Glens Falls Farmers’ Market, Mrs. Randles said.
“Our biggest issue was we couldn’t make enough stuff in our current location to do the retail. Now, with New York City down, we have the product.”
It happens they also just launched a new Website. “So you can order, then just pay and pick up. Less personal contact, cleaner and safer for all of us. We will continue that at the Lewis Super location. After the initial coronavirus shutdowns, Mrs. Randles said, “We were left with a whole bunch of inventory from our distributors — 80-120 gallons of buttermilk, 100 quarts of Greek yogurt, 400 of while milk yogurt” — stalling production, but only briefly, it turned out. “This week, we are back at full production, ramping up to get ready for the store.”
They also distribute their basil-garlic cheese curds at 91 area Stewart’s Shops, Mrs. Randles notes. “It’s done really well. Before this hit, they said they’d put us in another 169 stores. That’s a whole day of cheese making right there.”
“We are in 7 Hannafords and 10 Price Choppers, mostly whole milk yogurt.”
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