After the former Unilever ice cream plant closed down in 2012, many workers lost their jobs.
Now, Shenandoah Family Farms is bringing new life into the facility that had been vacant for about a year and a half.
"We will know it from now on as the Shenandoah Family Farms plant,” said Mayor of Hagerstown David Gysberts. “It's really exciting to see this place transformed back into a jobs center."
The dairy company purchased the facility last summer by banding together 21 farmers from the
"We were looking to try to better our future and take more control of our product from the farm to the consumer,” said President of Shenandoah Family Farms Randy Inman.
Charlie Evans, who lives just three minutes from the facility, used to work for Unilever. He was jobless after the plant closed down, but now he is back. Evans says working at the facility again is a dream come true.
"The experience here has been truly wonderful,” said Evans. “The owners, the families, the farmers treat us very well."
The creamery's milk and cream products are currently in about 170 local stores. Their soft serve product will be available for commercial sale starting next week, and their regular ice cream will be in stores for all customers to buy around early may.
The company hopes to expand even more as they continue their operations.
"We’re really excited for the future,” said Inman. “We're glad to be here and we've got a dedicated workforce that's been in the dairy industry for a long period of time."
"It definitely has a lot of growth potential,” said Evans. “I really, really feel honored to be here.”