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From Dairy a Century Ago to Non-Dairy Now, Elmhurst 1925 Continues to Innovate the “Milk” Industry

It’s been almost 100 years since Elmhurst first began as a traditional dairy in New York City and grew to be one of the largest dairies on the east coast. But with the arrival of the 20th century, dairy was on the decline.

In 2016, second-generation owner, Henry Schwartz, closed Elmhurst’s last dairy. However, this wasn’t the end of the company. A year later, Elmhurst 1925, a plant-based milk company in Elma, NY emerged.

Why Elma? Schwartz’s family is also the co-founder of Steuben Foods, which is headquartered in the Buffalo suburb. Steuben is known for their aseptic packaging, or shelf-stable products produced under sterile conditions that do not need refrigeration. From bottles to cartons, Steuben Foods is the leading aseptic manufacturer in the United States. Elmhurst 1925’s facility is now adjacent to Steuben Foods’ plant, and every part of Elmhurst 1925’s products is made right here in Elma.

Schwartz wanted to continue the legacy of his father and uncle’s dairy company. He partnered with Dr. Cheryl Mitchell, a plant food scientist, who was looking for a home for her technology process, HydroRelease™. This process, which uses water only to separate the parts of a grain, seed or nut, reassembles the original component as a drinkable beverage. The process is revolutionary, as it maintains the ingredient’s original source nutrition and flavor, without any stabilizers.

“We are very proud to have innovative plant-based products created right here in Western New York,” said Elmhurst 1925’s VP of Marketing, Pete Truby.

In the past, dairy alternatives were merely that. “Elmhurst 1925 wanted to create a category of premium AND nutritious plant milks,” said Truby. Other dairy alternatives must fortify their beverages—but not Elmhurst 1925, due to their revolutionary HydroRelease process. “A lot of what we want to do is to simply educate people,” Truby continued. “What people were drinking was not nutritious.”

In addition to their plant-based (which are also vegan and kosher) milks, Elmhurst 1925 features a “Barista Series”, made specifically for coffees. The almond, brown rice, oat and cashew editions double up to foam to perfection for your latte or cappuccino.

In terms of innovative products, Elmhurst 1925 just released the first hemp creamer ever in the United States. Created with the same HydroRelease method as their other drinks, the hemp creamer is made with a combination of hemp seeds and hemp cream—and only contains four ingredients and no added sugars.

Their most popular product is unsweetened almond milk, which contains only two ingredients, no added sugars, gums or emulsifiers, and is non-GMO certified.

Currently, Elmhurst 1925 is sold in 5,000 retailers across the country, including Wegmans, Publix, and Sprouts supermarkets, along with many coffee shops. Elmhurst 1925 has no plans of slowing down and has already begun future plans to sell single-serve “grab ‘n go” drinks.

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Written by Carolyn Batt

Carolyn Batt

Carolyn Batt is a Buffalo marketing director by day and international traveler the rest of the time--although always returning to her home for the past 12 years in Allentown.

View All Articles by Carolyn Batt
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