WELLSBORO, TIOGA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — A Tioga County ice cream shop is on the road to expansion and it’s not just for their own benefit.
The Main Street Creamery received a $50,000 grant through the Pennsylvania Dairy Investment Program. The Dairy Investment Program is a $5 million fund administered by the Commonwealth Financing Authority.
“This is a way for us to say ‘hey, these dairy farmers are struggling because milk consumption is down, fluid milk, but dairy product is up’,” said State Representative Clint Owlett (R, 68th District). “Let’s invest in some dairy product and see if we can pull some more milk out of that system and be able to really just sustain our farmers that want to stay in business and want to stay at their farms.”
With the help of the grant, Lori and Rick Beckwith, co-owners of The Main Street Creamery, plan on turning the seasonal business a year-round operation.
“So obviously we were very excited when we found out we were receiving the award,” Lori said. “Wellsboro is a very tight knit community so we were excited to give back a little.”
Lori says that while consumption of milk has decreased, there is a silver lining.
“The consumption of dairy products has actually increased so things like ice cream, yogurt and cheese has increased,” Beckwith said. “So we’re one of those industries that can actually help support the dairy with the growth.”
Rick Beckwith grew up working on a farm himself. He says he understands the importance of selling milk.
“It’s gotten to where you have to be a big farm to survive,” he said. “So hopefully us doing this is going to help more of these local guys.”
By expanding to a year-round business, Lori says The Main Street Creamery will be able to provide pints and quarts to customers in the retail market.