Canastota business best kept secret

"Many people don't even know we are here," said Steve Miller, general manager at Queensboro Farm Products. Miller was referring to the dairy store located at its Rasbach Street facility.

From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday the public can browse the dairy case and purchase numerous products. The dairy case offers several different milk grades including chocolate, half-and-half and many different types of cheese including cheese curd and cottage cheese, sour cream, yogurt, orange juice and just in time for the holidays is egg nog. Milks are sold by the quart or half gallon. And the prices are very competitive and sometimes less than most local retailers.

Miller also wanted to point out that many local businesses have no idea that they are a cash and carry dairy store offering wholesale bulk items by the case.

"In today's world in the restaurant business or pizza shops, [large suppliers] need a minimum delivery [order]," Miller said. "We handle small items for convenience stores, pizza shops or restaurants. Maybe they need one or two items. They can come and pick it up locally."

Queensboro's bulk selection includes numerous blends of butter by the pat, pound or two pound tub, margarines and European butter. Cheeses include ricotta, mozzarella, feta, Romano and crumble blue, cheddar, Muenster, provolone, Monterey jack, American slices, Swiss and cream cheese among others. They also offer non-refrigerated bulk creamers by the 288 or 360-count box.

"You can stop by, but it's easier to call ahead so we can set it up" Miller said. "Our store closes at 5 p.m. but the plant is open 24-hours a day. If they couldn't get here until 6:30 p.m. we can make arrangements. Someone will be here."

Queensboro will celebrate 100 years next year. Miller's grandfather, Samuel, began the business in Queens, N.Y. in 1909. In the 1940s the Canastota plant was built to give Madison County farmers a place to bring its milk.

"We do business with local dairy farmers and we've been very successful in doing that," Miller said. "It's important to support somebody local. We've supported the community for many, many years. It's nice to support us back."

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