Farm Horizons, February 2015

Bongards is poised for growth

By Starrla Cray

With a new logo and new corporate office, Bongards Creamery is building on more than 100 years of success in the dairy product industry.

“We have been experiencing a lot of growth – it’s a pretty exciting time for us,” said Scott Tomes, Bongards’ senior vice president of sales and marketing.

To help foster that growth, the Bongards co-op has been leasing a corporate office in Chanhassen since the end of 2013. Previously, employees of its sales, marketing, and finance departments worked in a building at the central plant in Bongards (near Norwood Young America).

According to Tomes, the new location at 18681 Lake Dr. E. attracts talent from the Twin Cities, and provides close access to the airport for executive travel. It’s also only about 20 miles from the plant in Bongards. Currently, the Chanhassen office is home to 20 employees, with plans to add about 10 more in the next two to three years.

“We’re in a really good location,” said Tomes, who began working for Bongards in October 2013.

Tomes grew up on a grain farm in Maynard, MN, and graduated with a degree in international business and marketing in 1989. Before accepting his current position, Tomes had been the vice president of sales for Stampede Meat, Inc.

At Bongards, Tomes and the other staff members have been working to give Bongards a new look.

“We’re going through a whole new brand transformation,” Tomes said.

Bongards began in 1908, after a group of farmers got together to form a co-op creamery. By 1949, the creamery was hailed as “one of the world’s largest cheese factories,” with nearly half a million pounds of daily milk capacity.

The co-op kept expanding through the years, and purchased a cheese and whey manufacturing facility in Perham in 2003. Seven years later, Bongards also added a manufacturing facility in Humbolt, TN.

To learn more, or to order cheese, go to www.bongards.com.

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