Business Move Makes Fenton a Little Cheesier
St. Louis staple moves from The Hill
from Suburban Journals
Erica Burrus photo
Kurt Steve, left, Greg Leach, Mick McKenna, Eric Grabowski, James Glynn, Jerry Holway, Allen Koch hold string cheese as they prepare to cut it for a ceremony at Hautly Cheese Company in Fenton.
By Shawn Clubb
Friday, December 5, 2008 12:43 PM CST
The ribbon cutting could have made a mouse’s mouth water. Such ceremonies hailing the opening of a new facility are often cheesy, but the Hautly Cheese Company employees wanted their event to be especially gouda.
They lined up with scissors to cut the ribbon – a 20-foot length of part-skim mozzarella string cheese – outside the company’s new headquarters at 251 Axminister Drive in Fenton.
“Get ready to cut the cheese,” said Alan Hautly, third-generation president of the company.
And they did. All 25 employees at the site smiled broadly as they cut it. They seemed quite proud of themselves. As small lengths of the string cheese hit the ground, Adam Hautly, one of the newest additions to the staff, joked that they needed to get it ready to ship.
The Rev. Scott Seidler, pastor of Concordia Lutheran Church in Kirkwood where the Hautlys are parishioners, was there to give a blessing. “This is no seminary training for blessing a cheese distribution center,” he said.
It seemed everyone was taking the ceremony lightly, but Lisa Hautly, wife of Alan Hautly, said everyone is really pleased with the new building. The company announced plans a year ago to relocate to Fenton from its headquarters on The Hill. Hautly outgrew its building at 5130 Northrup Ave. It had been at that location since 1959 and expanded three times.
Hautly signed a lease for the Fenton building, which has 36,800 square feet of space – close to double the space it had on The Hill. Its refrigerated space is now 17,000 square feet.
“The cooler is so much more efficient and streamlined,” Lisa Hautly said. “Productivity is up.” Hautly distributes 44 brand products and 650 other products that include Silk soy milk, Horizon organic milk, Eggland’s Best and Davidson’s eggs and Blue Bunny yogurt. Other items include refrigerated dog food, butter and other foods that require cold storage.
The business had planned to move to the new location last March, but delays pushed the move-in date to Oct. 13. The company still owns the property on The Hill and has talked to several companies interested in buying or leasing it.