The rumors last week were true. Healthy Food Holdings, which owns the North Lawrence dairy plant in northern St. Lawrence County, lost its contract to produce Breyer’s yogurt. So it’s going to close and 100 people will lose their jobs in an area with few other alternatives.
The announcement did not come as a surprise to many of the plant’s employees, [union president Brian] Hammond said. Rumors had been circulating for weeks that bleak news was headed for the facility, which has been sold several times over the years.
“I think everyone was bracing for the worst,” Mr. Hammond said.
Mr. Nolan told union representatives that a few parties have expressed an interest in purchasing the facility, though nothing is far enough along to be announced.
The news was extremely disappointing for the plant’s most senior employee, Gordon E. Childs, who began working there in 1963.
Longevity at the plant runs in the Childs family. Mr. Childs’s grandfather worked there, and his 102-year-old father retired from a 47-year career at the plant in 1973. All four of Mr. Childs’s sons worked at the plant at one point. An employee in the plant’s maintenance division, Mr. Childs even got to train his sons himself.
About 10 years ago, the plant held a celebration with cake and ice cream for the Childs family, thanking them for putting in more than 1 million hours of service at the facility. Mr. Childs, 65, had been hoping to retire from the plant once he hit his 50th anniversary in 2013.
“It’s been a great job for me and my family,” Mr. Childs said. “I’m going to miss it there for sure.”