The Matanuska Creamery closed its doors for good Sunday December 30, but some valley residents aren't ready to say goodbye. Many are holding out hope that the business will reopen.
“It’s just another business we do not want to see go out of business," said valley resident Katherine Bacon.
When Bacon heard about the closure she took action and opened an account at Alaska USA to raise money to save the creamery. The account number is 1100017342159. She would like the account to be taken over by the Farmers Union but they had not yet worked out the details as of Sunday evening.
"I thought about the movie "It's A Wonderful Life" and how everybody rallies around his business to save him, and what I thought about here in the valley," said Bacon, "If we all rally together and if we all just gave a little bit, just a little bit it would go a long way."
Her efforts mean a lot to the 15 employees who have now lost their jobs.
“The fact that the community has just come full force in these last couple days it shows that we had that support I kind of wish we had that a couple months ago," said Jamie Church.
Church oversees the pasteurization process. On Sunday, she turned 1000 gallons of raw milk into, 1% milk for the local schools and a type of cream for a local gelato company.
Church said she has been looking for another job and has an interview the first week of January.
According to the creamery president, Karen Olson, their milk comes from approximately 400 cows between 2 local dairy farms in Point Mackenzie. She said some of those farmers will likely have to send their cows to slaughter if there is no creamery to buy the milk they produce.
“So basically the industry has been fractured so at this point we're trying to keep the option of the cows coming and calving in the spring,” said Olson.
Olson said the issues behind the closure do not have anything to do with the charges brought against Kyle Beus. He is facing federal charges for allegedly misusing more than $120,000 in agricultural grant money for personal gain during 2007 and 2008.
Olsen said she would like to re-open the creamery operation in the spring if possible.
“Hopefully we'll be able to recoup somewhere down the line but for the farmers and the cows it's horrible,” said Church.
A sad day for the creamery and its longtime customers, who are saying goodbye to a Valley landmark.
Contact Mallory Peebles