ITHACA, N.Y. — A local cookie making company has found success in its sweet endeavors. To meet its growing market demands, Emmy’s Organics is planning a bigger warehouse and cookie-making facility in the City of Ithaca.

Emmy’s Organics was founded in Ithaca by Ian Gaffney and Samantha Abrams in 2009. The pair started out making their gluten-free, vegan and non-GMO cookies in Gaffney’s mother’s kitchen, selling their coconut macaroon cookies at the Ithaca Farmer’s Market and GreenStar.

When it comes to tasty treats, the pair appear to have found a sweet spot. Today, Emmy’s Organics can be found at Starbucks, Wegmans, CVS Pharmacies – over 20,000 stores across the country, in half a dozen flavors, including dark cacao, raspberry, vanilla bean and peanut butter. The company now employs nineteen staff.

That’s set to expand with Emmy’s Organics plan to build a new 10,000 square-foot warehouse, food processing facility and headquarters for itself in the city of Ithaca. The location is to move from its current location at 629 West Buffalo Street, to what is currently an undeveloped parcel at the southern tip of the Cherry Street Industrial Park. The $1.4 million project would result in another five jobs as the company moves in and fills out the new space.

The land in the industrial park is owned by the city, and 2.25 acres will be subdivided and sold to Emmy’s Organics for $200,000. The sale proceeds will be used in conjunction with the industrial park’s financial account and city grant to extend Cherry Street to service the new warehouse, and to make the remaining 3.75 acres of industrial land more appealing to other companies (all the accessible Cherry Street lots have been built out; the last, 241 Cherry Street, was taken by Crossfit Pallas in 2014).

The plan is to open the new Emmy’s Organics facility by the end of 2018. No architect or structural engineer is named in the paperwork, though frequent Ithaca project consultants Whitham Planning and Design is listed as a contact on the Ithaca Urban Renewal Agency filing.

In response to an inquiry regarding the plans, Emmy’s co-founder Samantha Abrams released the following statement:

“After many months of searching, we are thrilled to announce our intention to purchase land at the end of Cherry Street from the City of Ithaca to expand our operations. Our business has been growing year over year expanding from a stall at the Ithaca Farmer’s Market to selling at over 20,000 stores across the nation. Needless to say, we are maxed out at our current location and need to relocate. We were convinced that we were going to be forced to move out of the city when we discovered the possibility of working with the Ithaca Urban Renewal Agency (IURA) to purchase this land and build a new facility. 

Staying in the city is very exciting for us. We continue to grow our staff and being downtown accessible to bus lines and bike lanes is what we really wanted this whole time. It has been a privilege to provide amazing jobs to our community and this move will help us continue to do so. While there are many approvals and processes moving forward, we are hopeful and excited to find our new home on Cherry Street and to keep growing Emmy’s as a conscious, community-oriented manufacturer that makes amazing products.”
Featured image provided.

Brian Crandall

Brian Crandall reports on housing and development for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached at bcrandall@ithacavoice.com.