A message from Ron Marks, the owner: To all of our dear wonderful customers. After almost 10 years of making yogurt, we are so sorry to have to tell you that AtlantaFresh is closing its doors for business.
Please see the details in this press release below as to why.
You can stock up on our products for a couple more weeks. Call the factory for inventory and our retailers still have some supply. We’ll be here on Facebook to answer any questions during that time.
Press Release March 2, 2018
After Whole Foods Cancelled its Purchasing Contract AtlantaFresh Creamery forced to shutter doors
In 2015, Whole Foods Market asked AtlantaFresh Artisan Creamery, a Southern regional producer of grass-fed Greek Yogurt, if they would supply 100% grass-fed, certified Non-GMO milk and cream to a significant portion of the Whole Foods Markets nationwide (three regions totaling 110 stores). AtlantaFresh was induced to move forward with Whole Foods Market in an agreement whereby Whole Foods Market loaned the creamery $500,000 for expansion and signed a 7-year purchasing contract committing to purchase 30,000 gallons of milk per week. AtlantaFresh took on an additional $2 million in debt to build out their facility sufficiently in order to fulfill the contract (doubling the size of their facility). AtlantaFresh began fulfilling the contract in July of 2016.
Fourteen months later Whole Foods canceled the 7-year agreement without cause in September of 2017, shortly after Whole Foods Market agreed to be acquired by Amazon for $13.4 billion. After having had AtlantaFresh products on their shelves for 8 years, Whole Foods Market removed all AtlantaFresh products entirely from their system, despite being made fully aware that it would very likely put AtlantaFresh out of business. “Whole Foods became our largest customer fairly early on. We were ecstatic about the relationship because they were very strong supporters of the local food movement and of AtlantaFresh,” stated AtlantaFresh CEO Ron Marks.
Prior to the milk agreement, AtlantaFresh Greek Yogurt was distributed in 180 Whole Foods stores in 20 states. Hart Agriculture, the dairy farmer contracted to supply milk to AtlantaFresh, has also suffered severe financial hardship as a result of the contract cancellation. They have closed down Waynesboro, GA-based Newberry Farm, certified as a Non-GMO 100% grass-fed dairy farm.
Whole Foods senior management spoke of providing a settlement in order to keep AtlantaFresh afloat but never followed through. Having been profitably in business for 9 years until this last fall, AtlantaFresh was recently forced to lay off 32 employees and will be closing their doors in mid- March.
Contact Ron Marks at ron at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.