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Elmhurst Dairy To Close After Nearly 100 Years in Business

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | August 2, 2016 12:22pm
 Elmhurst Dairy will close its milk processing plant in Jamaica in October.
Elmhurst Dairy will close its milk processing plant in Jamaica in October.
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Elmhurst Dairy/Facebook

QUEENS — After nearly 100 years in business, the Elmhurst Dairy will close its milk processing plant in Jamaica, resulting in the loss of 273 jobs and the end of the city's famous brand, the company announced Tuesday.

The dairy, which according to its website, supplies milk to more than 8,300 grocers and 1,400 public schools, is the last of about 20 milk processing plants in the New York City and Long Island area which all closed within the past 25 years, the company said. 

For the past 80 years, Elmhurst Dairy operated in Jamaica. 

"It is with deep emotion and sadness that I announce Elmhurst Dairy and its family of ownership, management and employees will conclude more than 80 years of milk production at its Queens' processing plant," Henry Schwartz, the CEO of the dairy, said in a statement.

"The decision to close Elmhurst Dairy followed many years of attempting to find a method of making the operation feasible in this difficult market," the company said in the statement, adding that it did not want "to exit the business until there was no other option."

The dairy, currently located on a 15-acre lot at 155-25 Styler Road, was started by brothers Max and Arthur Schwartz at their father's farm on Caldwell Avenue in Elmhurst in 1919. 

In the mid-1930s, the company moved to a small facility on South Road in Jamaica, and later expanded to nearby Styler Road.

In the late 1940s, Percy Krout, Max's brother-in-law, who ran another family dairy farm in Middle Village, joined the business.

At its height, the dairy produced more than 5.6 million quarts a week, making it the largest plant in the area, the company said.

Elmhurst Dairy said it is planning to re-use its Jamaica site to benefit the local community, though it did not elaborate further. 

The company will shut down its operations Oct. 30.