EFCO: Four Generations of Success

Poughkeepsie Roots, Global Business

 

Company Name: EFCO Products 

Industry: Food Manufacturing/ Production

Year established: 1903

 

 

Family owned EFCO Products is a rarity in today’s industry, let alone the global business culture.  Headquartered in Poughkeepsie, New York, EFCO adheres to a long-standing tradition of service excellence and product quality that is rooted in its heritage since 1903. Manufacturing ingredients for over 100 years, EFCO serves the ever-changing and evolving needs of local and wholesale bakeries, global industrial food processors and chain restaurants.

Commenting on more than a century of doing business in the Hudson Valley, president, and CEO, Steve Effron said, “Our business is constantly changing and we’ve had to continue to evolve with it.”  The Poughkeepsie native also pointed to a long list of advantages doing business in Dutchess County: “We have a long-tenured workforce that is very skilled and adept at what they do.  Our workforce is fueled by a strong educational system, particularly Marist College, the Culinary Institute of America, and Dutchess Community College,” he said, “We also benefit from our proximity to a large population base in the eastern corridor and great access to New York ports.

“The strength of our business is innovation, and we like our customers and prospective customers to see how our products are developed and made.” Effron continued, ” Fortunately, both our domestic and international customers love coming to the Hudson Valley.  Whether they are from New York City, the Middle East, Asia, or Latin America, our customers appreciate the rich history of the area and of our company.”

 

For four generations, this global business has not only made life sweeter for consumers but also continues to contribute to the community in many ways.  To learn more about Steve Effron and the EFCO legacy here in Dutchess, read more in our inaugural issue of the Think Dutchess magazine.

COMPANY PROFILE: IBM

Why one of America’s top tech companies has called Dutchess County home for nearly 75 years

A corporate name synonymous with innovation and reinvention, IBM has a historic legacy in Dutchess County, N.Y. Over the last several decades, IBM operations in the county have generated large numbers of jobs and produced some of “Big Blue’s” most iconic technologies, including all of IBM’s mainframes and IBM Deep Blue, which famously became the first computer to beat a world chess master.

IBM Aerial in Poughkeepsie
Aerial view of IBM’s Dutchess County operations

IBM’s presence in Dutchess County began in 1941 when the company purchased a second campus in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. In 1962, after IBM grew to more than 100,000 employees nationwide, the company expanded to more than 400 acres in East Fishkill, N.Y. Here, IBM introduced its first mainframe computer, the System/360, a server that revolutionized business due to its use of semiconductor technology and established IBM as a leader in the computing industry.

IBM Z Marc Molinaro Dutchess County
Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro and Maria Boonie, IBM Vice President, z Systems Software Development

Today, Dutchess County continues to serve as one of IBM’s top U.S. manufacturing locations, churning out mainframe technology for the 21st century, known as z Systems. In 2017, the Fortune 500 company unveiled its latest edition, IBM z14, which is capable of computing 12 billion cybersecure exchanges daily and supports 87 percent of credit card transactions around the globe, totaling almost $8 trillion payments annually.

Currently, IBM’s Dutchess County workforce is made up of more than 50 percent engineers, with many coming from nearby schools like Marist College. The company’s Dutchess County employees have also secured more than 6,000 patents over the course of IBM’s history.  While its focus has long been on providing the best technology, IBM has also made strides in design. In 2017, IBM Poughkeepsie was awarded the title of IBM’s 37th official “Design Studio,” making it part of a global network of offices that champion IBM Design Thinking.

In September of 2019, IBM continued its push toward large-scale adoption of quantum computing with the opening of the first IBM Quantum Computation Center in Poughkeepsie, NY.  The center will house some of the world’s most advanced cloud-based quantum computing systems accessible to a worldwide community of Fortune 500 companies, startups, academic institutions and national research labs working with IBM. The opening of the IBM Quantum Computation Center is further evidence that after years of development, IBM is taking the lead in moving the technology out of the research lab and putting it directly into the hands of developers, researchers, academic and enterprise users, and quantum technology and service providers.

Although the company downsized in the 1990’s from its massive 1960-era operations, previously-owned IBM property still plays a major role in Dutchess County. Today, much of IBM’s original East Fishkill campus is owned by GLOBALFOUNDRIES, a California-based semiconductor manufacturing company, which employs 2,500 people on 160 acres of active manufacturing space.

IBM Software in Poughkeepsie
IBM Employee Michael Lyons in Poughkeepsie

In 2017, thanks to the help of Think Dutchess, Connecticut real estate group National Resources announced further plans to redevelop 300 acres of the campus into a mixed-use office, retail, hotel and residential development, known as iPark City.

 

To learn more about IBM’s longstanding presence in Dutchess County, download the inaugural issue of Think Dutchess Magazine.

 

For more information on expanding or relocating your business to Dutchess County, please contact Chris Glancy, Director of Business Attraction, at 845.463.5404 or chris@thinkdutchess.com.

 

COMPANY PROFILE: More Good

People. Planet. Profit. That’s More Good’s triple bottom line.

Founded in 2012, Jason Schuler identified an opportunity to impact the three things that defined his personal ethos of success. From behind the bar, Schuler took his knowledge of the beverage industry and passion for spices to create More Good. Beginning first with a line of handcrafted mixers and syrups to create healthier cocktails, demand for the syrups forced the company to quickly outgrow their 200 square foot facility. This rapid expansion led More Good to its current 2,000 square foot retail location which includes loose teas, bitters, spices and other bar accouterments in Beacon, NY. The location also served as More Good’s manufacturing facility.

This location also operated as a commissary kitchen and co-packing facility to support local food and beverage entrepreneurs. Capitalizing on the demand, in October of 2018, More Good moved the co-packing facility to a larger location at the new food hub at iPark East Fishkill.

Working closely with Dutchess County farms, artisans, and the community  Schuler’s philanthropy is not just regional. More Good’s commitment to social responsibility leverages local success to create global impact. Through strategic partnerships, More Good has raised more than $25,000 to fund water wells in Ghana, Haiti and other developing countries.

                             

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

     

Honored as the 2017 Business of the Year at the Business Excellence Awards, More Good is a shining example of how businesses can thrive in Dutchess. Operating with a staff of 15+, More Good continues to experience good fortune and growth. The expanded iPark facility will more than double square footage. In addition to expanding to its recipe offerings, the company has expanded into bottling and co-packing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COMPANY PROFILE: Crown Maple

From bark to bottle, Crown Maple exemplifies the spirit of Dutchess County agri-business

When Robb Turner and his wife, Lydia, began their search for the ideal family vacation home in 2007, they couldn’t have imagined a sweeter deal. After hunting for a getaway in Dutchess County, they landed on a picturesque 800-acre property in Dover Plains, lush with aged maple trees. Soon, neighbors began to tease them about tapping the land’s abundance of red and sugar maple trees for their golden insides.

The idea stuck. A former West Point engineer, Harvard Business School graduate and successful financier, Robb poured his efforts into developing what is today known as Crown Maple syrup. He tapped into the expertise of experts from Cornell University’s Uihlein Sugar Maple Research and Extension Field Station to formulate a production process that would be sustainable, consistent, and create the purest, 100% organic syrup available.

Madava Farms, named for the Turner’s daughters Maddie and Ava, began its Crown Maple operations in 2010. Today, the company employs more than 30 people and produces syrup from 400,000 taps―the highest production rate in North America. Their estate also boasts one of the industry’s nicest sugarhouses, with more than 27,000 square feet of gleaming stainless steel production machines, each optimized for sustainable production.


Crown Maple products have received accolades from The Wall Street Journal and have even held a spot on the White House dinner table. New York chefs at gourmet restaurants like Le Bernardin, Eleven Madison Park and Lincoln Ristorante prefer Crown Maple throughout their food and cocktail menus, while the company’s products also grace the shelves of stores like West Elm, Dean & DeLuca, Trader Joe’s, Costco, Whole Foods and more.

Looking ahead, the Turners are dedicated to further growing their business in Dutchess County. Through a recent county grant, Madava Farms expanded as an agri-tourism destination by adding a café to the property. They’ve also partnered with Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County to provide youth development programs and lead presentations on agricultural real estate development opportunities in the region.

For more information on expanding or relocating your business to Dutchess County, please contact Chris Glancy, Director of Business Attraction, at 845.463.5404 or chris@thinkdutchess.com.

The Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory

Think Dutchess Success Story- The Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory

The Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory

Since 2008, Hudson River Housing has been a cornerstone of community building. Starting with the Middle Main Initiative, this nonprofit sought to improve the lives of City of Poughkeepsie residents and the community as a whole. In 2012, the opportunity to create a tangible expression of hope came in the form of the National Historic Site, The Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory.

Vintage sign from the Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory- Think DutchessWith a lofty goal to revitalize the middle main corridor in Poughkeepsie, Hudson River Housing leveraged existing community relationships and resources to redevelop The Underwear Factory into a mixed-use facility for housing, retail and community programs. Today, the building is a community hub which provides education, entertainment, jobs and training programs that are enriching the neighborhood while strengthening the local economy.

Community art piece outside of the Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory main entrance Think Dutchess 2017 Nonprofit of the Year- The Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory

A creative hub and breeding ground for new business, The Underwear Factory houses The Art Effect, flex studio space operated by Mid-Hudson Heritage Center, 15 loft apartments, the Poughkeepsie Open Kitchen- Poughkeepsie’s first community, commercial kitchen, and two local start-ups, North River Roasters and 2019 Innovation Challenge Semi-Finalist Earth, Wind and Fuego. Additionally, more than a dozen food entrepreneurs are now closer to launching start-ups of their own thanks to the ability of the organization to connect all of its arms to create opportunity at the local level.

Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory Arch

 

The 2017 Think Dutchess Non-Profit of the Year award winner at the Business Excellence Awards has helped spark the energy bubbling over in this city on the go.  Attracting business, talent, entrepreneurs and building community spirit, Hudson River Housing and The Underwear Factory continue to propel development in our region.

 

COMPANY PROFILE: NICHE MODERN

From Brooklyn, to Beacon. How one manufacturer found success in a weekend escape.

When Jeremy Pyles accidentally backed his company van into a brand-new Mercedes in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, he knew it was time for a change. Frustrated with the challenges of working and living in New York City―expensive rent, lack of available space, congested streets and a lifestyle constrained by urban confines―Jeremy began actively seeking new opportunities. After renting out a Hudson Valley home with his wife and young children as their “weekend escape,” he found Dutchess County.

Niche Modern in Beacon 2008

Jeremy is the co-founder and CEO of Niche Modern, a luxury lighting company which handcrafts stunning glass fixtures at their headquarters in Beacon, NY. Founded in 2003 as a retail store in New York City’s East Village, the company spent its formative years hopping around the city, including a stint at a warehouse in Brooklyn. After realizing that Niche couldn’t scale up successfully due to Brooklyn’s pricey location and poor logistics infrastructure, Jeremy and company relocated to Dutchess County in 2006.

Celebrating their 15th anniversary— with 10 of those being in Dutchess County—Niche produces their signature modern lighting in a 20,000 sq. ft. former bronze foundry in Beacon―a creative city where craft manufacturers are flourishing. Due to a growing number of employees, friends and neighbors also relocating from Brooklyn, Jeremy even jokes that Beacon is now nicknamed “NoBro”: the newest New York City neighborhood, just north of Brooklyn.

From chandeliers to pendants to table lamps, Niche Modern products are sold around the globe, with approximately 20 percent directly shipping to international markets. Niche’s work has been featured in top publications like The New York Times, ELLE Décor, Better Homes & Gardens and Dwell.

Niche_Modern_1Regardless of success, the company is still authentically dedicated to the Dutchess community. With a passionate motto of “made, not manufactured,” Niche proudly states that 100 percent of their products are handmade in Beacon, New York.

For more information on expanding or relocating your business to Dutchess County, please contact Chris Glancy, Director of Business Attraction, 845.463.5404.

ONE UNIFIED VISION

A premier business-led organization, Think Dutchess Alliance for Business brings together 11 agency partners creating a one-stop shop for your site selection, financing, incentives, permitting and advocacy, strategic planning and counseling, marketing and networking needs.