The U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development Department has awarded a Value Added Grant to Fossil Creek Creamery (formerly the Strawberry Fudge Factory), at the Ranch at Fossil Creek in Strawberry.
Owners, John and Joyce Bittner, have been raising goats and llamas on their ranch for several years. This past year they decided to make fudge and cheese from the goat's milk.
The Value Added Grant is given to those companies who have demonstrated the ability to make a product which has a value added to the original product.
"In our case making cheese and fudge enhances the value of the milk in the marketplace," John Bittner said.
Fossil Creek Creamery was the only company selected from Arizona. Selection was based on a sound business plan and operation, as well as knowledge of the grant requirements.
Fossil Creek Creamery is grateful for the written support of the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce, Payson Regional Economic Development Corporation, Gila County Supervisor District 1 -- Tommie Martin, and Chase Bank, the owners said.
"We could not have done it alone. It takes team work," Joyce Bittner said.
Fossil Creek Creamery will be opening their state-of-the-art creamery in late October and welcoming visitors for cheese and fudge tasting. It is located at 10379 W. Fossil Creek Road in Strawberry.
They will be open Wednesday-Sunday. Tours will be by appointment. Call for hours of operation: (928) 476-5178.