Franklin Foods has been using local milk to make cheese in Enosburg Falls since 1899. The company is based in Florida and has a second plant in Arizona. And now those assets are owned by a German company called Hochland.
Franklin Foods spokesperson Rocco Cardinale says the change was unexpected.
"We weren’t for sale," says Cardinale, "But we met a group out of Germany at a trade show that we found we had a lot of synergies and a lot of alignment. They are, too, a privately held company – family owned as well."
Cardinale says the change in ownership won’t affect jobs at the Franklin Foods plants.
"We think that this is a win-win for both us and for them," he says. "The Vermont plant will stay open, obviously. The Arizona plant will stay open. No one’s going to be adversely affected. This is really an incredible opportunity for a lot of people within the company to grow, now within the framework of a bigger company."
Cardinale says Franklin Foods will still operate independently, as a wholly owned subsidiary of Hochland. Franklin Foods specializes in making Greek style cream cheese.