Blog

Glen Copack and COVID-19.

We here hope this finds you well and know you may be concerned about the spread of COVID-19 and how it may impact us here at Glen Copack.

We wanted to let you know that as a food manufacturer, we remain operational as an essential business during this state of emergency. We continue to produce, receive, and ship materials daily. If you have copacking needs, please feel free to reach out and we will do our best to accommodate you.

In response to the emergency, we have made the following changes:

•We are not allowing any visitors to the manufacturing facility at this time.
•Pick-ups and deliveries are limited to our loading dock area, where only trained personnel will meet with drivers.
•We are following the guidelines published by Cornell’s Institute for Food Safety (https://instituteforfoodsafety.cornell.edu/…/food-industry…/).
•Per the guidelines, we have reduced or redeployed our workforce, where possible, to meet the > 6ft distance rules.

If you have any concerns or wish to speak with someone, please contact the Business Services Manager, Kelly Miller (kmiller@arcofcs.org) or Director of Business Services, Wendy Shutter (wshutter@arcofcs.org).

We will continue to monitor the situation and notify you of any additional changes if needed.

What are Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) Regulations?

Good manufacturing practices (GMPs) are the backbone of any food safety program.

Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) are the backbone of any food safety program. They cover topics like hygiene, facility cleanliness, and good record-keeping. Even the design of the manufacturing plant itself is covered in these regulations.

Overall, cGMPs ensure that food is safe for consumers and something our customers can be proud of. The goal is to prevent issues before they happen and to quickly correct them if they do.

The GMP Ready Room is an area where staff can prepare to work, take breaks, and receive additional or refresher training on food safety practices.
The GMP Ready Room is where everyone’s day begins.

The GMP Ready Room

The ‘Ready Room’ is where everyone begins their day. The area provides space to prepare for work. Employees place food or drinks in the refrigerator and personal belongs in a locker.

Keeping such items out of the restricted space is important.

Staff sometimes receive additional or refresher trainings on food safety in the ‘Ready Room’. During the work day, they also return to this space for breaks.

Lockers and coat space for workers and visitors to the facility.

Current Good Manufacturing Practices are the following principles:

  • Maintain a clean and hygienic manufacturing area.
  • Prevent cross-contamination from adulterants and allergens.
  • Manufacturing processes must be clearly defined and controlled.
  • Critical processes are validated for consistency and compliance. Any changes to the process must be evaluated.
  • Procedures must be written in clear language and use good documentation practices.
  • Operators must be trained to carry out and document procedures.
  • Records must be made which show that all necessary steps were followed and documented.
  • A recall system must be in place.
  • Complaints must be investigated and proper action taken if necessary.

Before anyone enters the production facility, they must understand cGMP regulations. Staff attend training and must pass a competency test to work in the cGMP restricted area.

Rather than passing the test, visitors or outside contractors are escorted at all times while in the facility and sign a waiver prior to entering the facility.

The entrance to the restricted space has a constant reminder of the rules nearby.

Everyone is reminded of the rules every time they get ready to walk through the red doors into the restricted area.

Putting cGMPs to Work

We use proper hand-washing methods and everyone always wears hair and beard nets during production. All staff receive training right down to proper technique and how long to wash your hands (20 seconds).

Daily post-production cleaning checklists cover all productions and all other sections of our facility. These are geared towards preventing cross-contamination. Weekly inspections confirm that all procedures are being followed correctly.

Current Good Manufacturing Practices continue to evolve. The word ‘current’ reflects that these practices change over time. Each facility is different, so rules change to fit the situation.

We strive to remain at the forefront of cGMPs and all FSMA regulations regarding food production and safety.

As a result, we educate our staff and refresh our training often. The production schedule leads to many opportunities for teachable moments as well.

For more information on cGMPs and why they’re important, check out the FDA’s website here.

2019: The Year in Review at Glen Copack

From new machinery to new customers, Glen Copack highlights an exciting year of growth and change.

2019 was most certainly a year to remember at Glen Copack.

The highlight of the year came with our move into the renovated Glen Copack facility in the Arc of Schuyler’s 203 12th Street building.

One of the major benefits of the new, bigger kettle is an increase in capacity. For 2019 our output combined the use of our old kitchen and the new.

For the year we produced more than 4,700 gallons of product for all of our customers combined. That equates to just over 52,000 total units of various sizes.

The first ingredient added to the new kettle during the testing phase.
The first ingredient added to the new kettle during the testing phase.

Glen Copack Customers

In addition to our new work space and machinery, we’ve also worked with some incredible new customers both local and out of state.

Glen Copack was happy to have Jerlando’s Ristorante as our first customer to utilize the new kettle in 2019. Jerlando’s has been a Watkins Glen fixture since 1993 and it was important for Glen Copack to work with this local business to produce their pizza sauce.

Glen Copack producing Jerlando’s Ristorante Pizza Sauce.

We were proud to work with another local staple, Maria’s Tavern to produce their famed blue cheese dressing. Located in the heart of Watkins Glen, Maria’s is popular amongst locals and traveler’s alike. They decided it was time to produce their handmade blue cheese dressing so that their customers could take it home with them.

Glen Copack utilizing the kettle to mix a batch of Maria’s Tavern Blue Cheese Dressing.

Glen Copack also worked with two time Chopped Champion on Food Network, Melodie Asseraf to produce her subscription baking boxes for her company Baking FOMO.

Baking FOMO is a fun and stress free way to bake at home with ingredients pre-measured and prepared by us for you! Just follow the directions for a unique and sweet treat made at home. Glen Copack was thrilled to start working with this company in 2019.

Professional Growth

Glen Copack staff are encouraged to gain more education by attending food manufacturing symposiums and conferences. In 2019 our Director of Business Services, Wendy Shutter and our Business Manager, Kelly Miller attended the Grow-NY Food and Agricultural Summit.

This event and organization focuses on how to advance and support local food and agricultural enterprises in New York State. By showcasing academic and commercial resources, Grow-NY wants to expand the market for upstate startups and businesses.

As a small business serving production needs in and beyond Schuyler County, it’s important for Glen Copack to explore these events and learn more about how to maximize potential.

The 2019 Grow-NY Food and Agricultural Summit

Glen Copack also welcomed new employees in 2019. Operated by The Arc of Schuyler, Glen Copack is proud to offer employment opportunities for people with varying abilities within the community.

Marketing Efforts

Glen Copack started creating a presence on social media with our new facebook page facebook.com/glencopackmanufacturing/ . In addition to a new Facebook, Glen Copack also started the blog that you’re reading now!

We appreciate you keeping up with our blog and social media accounts. If you don’t already follow Glen Copack on Facebook, go ahead and give us a like!

What’s Ahead In 2020…

Glen Copack is excited for what 2020 will bring. We hope it brings more great customers, professional growth, more conferences, and more opportunities to promote inclusivity in the workplace.

We have already won a feature in AM&T’s 2020 Photo Calendar Contest! AM&T (Alliance for Manufacturing and Technology) will feature a picture from Glen Copack for the month of June, 2020.

The photo that was selected is showing our 100 gallon kettle during its inaugural run producing Jerlando’s Ristorante & Pizza Co. pizza sauce earlier in 2019.

We are honored to have been selected for AM&T’s calendar and hope that you can get a copy for your home!

Needless to say we’ve been pretty busy at Glen Copack, but this is just the beginning!

Work With Us

Are you a start-up, entrepreneur, or an established restaurant looking to produce and bottle your favorite recipe? Start off 2020 by helping your business expand with Glen Copack.

Contact us today to begin your co-packing journey with us!

Thank you to our staff, our customers, and The Arc of Schuyler for an incredible year at Glen Copack.

Show Me the Honey

Catskill Provisions and Glen Copack work like busy bees to re-package NYS Farm raised honey and mixes

Catskill Provisions “Raw Wildflower Spring Honey” packaged at Glen Copack and ready to be shipped.

What’s All the Buzz About?

The proprietor of Catskill Provisions Claire Marin, has an interesting story. She was born in Spain and raised in the bustling town of New York City. She discovered the lovely Catskills town of Long Eddy and decided to dive into her hobby, beekeeping. This hobby allowed her to understand how bees work together and grow in their surroundings and watching them work inspired her to start a business.

Claire M Marin, CEO and Founder of Catskill Provisions. Photo courtesy of www.catskillprovisions.com

An Emphasis on New York State

She wanted to focus on the ample resources available in upstate New York and work with local vendors and farmers to bring NY State Raw honey to market. Much like bees working harmoniously together, Catskill Provisions now tends to 300 beehives in Upstate New York and works with local beekeepers to harvest raw honey each year in small batches.

Claire’s commitment to organic and local food has made her products staples of New York State eateries, hotels, and specialty stores.

Catskills Provisions Needed a Food Co Packer

Catskill Provisions realized that their business needed a reliable food co-packer to repackage their raw honey and to also produce their pancake mixes. They also knew that they wanted to work with a company that was based in New York State, so they began searching for a copacker.

“It was a necessary step for us to grow in order to fulfill orders from bigger clients. We needed a copacker to help get orders out in a quick and efficient way. In order for us to grow as a company, we needed a reliable copacker and Glen Copack was the solution.”

Claire M Marin, CEO Catskill Provisions

Catskills Provisions is a female led business with a strong connection to good causes. A percentage of Catskill Provisions’ sales goes to environmental causes dedicated to protecting bees and other pollinators. Glen Copack operates under the Arc of Schuyler, which provides supports to people with varying ability.

Claire mentions that a friend informed her of Glen Copack and had nothing but positive things to say about the business. Claire states that, “I am always looking for ways to benefit companies in the Upstate NY region and when I visited Glen Copack, I was impressed by the cleanliness, the systems that were in place, and the capacity. I also love the idea of supporting a facility that hires people with disabilities. It’s nice to see that they have a workplace to go to everyday and I’ve always wanted to support that.”

Together, this partnership keeps Catskill Provisions in line with their goals of supporting New York State businesses and belief in good causes and it highlights Glen Copack’s pride in working with New York based companies looking to expand their businesses.

“I also love the idea of supporting a facility that hires people with disabilities. It’s nice to see that they have a workplace to go to everyday and I’ve always wanted to support that.”

Claire M Marin

Working With Glen Copack

When asked about her business mission and working with Glen Copack, Claire added that her mission has been to “remain authentic, give back to my local community, and raise funds and awareness to save the bees and other pollinators.” We like that she includes, “I also hope that I’ve inspired others to be brave enough to get out of a job that isn’t fulfilling, to reinvent yourself and follow your dreams! Partnerships like the one we have with Glen Copack make that possible.”

Glen Copack packages a variety of NYS Farm Raised Honey for Catskill Provisions, as well as their ketchup and pancake mixes.

All photos courtesy of www.catskillprovisions.com

“Glen Copack is in line with supporting the community and with helping others and doing good. Being able to fulfill demand of customers and have a consistent product and do good while doing it is one of the biggest reasons why I was drawn to Glen Copack.”

Claire M Marin

Winner of Best NY Honey at the 2019 NYC Honey Fest, Catskill Provisions is a motivated and friendly team making tasty products that Glen Copack feels honored to work with.

Catskill Provisions “Raw Wildflower Fall Honey” on the shelf ready to ship from Glen Copack.

Catskill Provisions “Raw Wildflower Fall Honey” on the shelf ready to ship from Glen Copack.

Catskill Provisions “Raw Wildflower Spring Honey” on the shelf ready to ship from Glen Copack.

Time to Shop!

Visit Catskill Provisions’ online store and pick up a jar of honey today! Glen Copack produces their honey infused ketchup and pancake mixes as well therefore there is a little bit of something for everyone at Catskill Provisions. food.catskillprovisions.com/new-products 

Catskill Provisions also has a lovely holiday pop-up shop happening as well at cpholidaypopup.com/. Get a jump on holiday shopping with a delicious gift for a loved one!

Thank you to the team at Catskill Provisions for providing content for this blog post. A special thank you to CEO, Claire Marin for sharing her experience working with Glen Copack.

The Secret’s in the Sauce

Glen Copack partners with Sorge’s Restaurant to produce their famed Italian pasta sauce.

Photo of Sorge’s Restaurant sign courtesy of Polly Castor, www.pollycastor.com

It’s time to tuck a napkin into your collar because this month we are talking pasta sauce with Sorge’s Restaurant. Located in the heart of Corning, NY, Sorge’s has long been the place for Italian food in the area. This family eatery has been filling bellies and making smiles since Mike Sorge’s parents opened the doors in 1951. Mike and his brother Joseph joined the operation in 1973 and continued on the family legacy.

That’s what you feel when you walk into Sorge’s. Love, family, tradition and community. Glen Copack feels honored to partner with such an important local staple to produce their popular pasta sauce. Let’s dig in.

Sorge’s, A Corning Family Dining Tradition since 1951. www.sorges.com
Facebook: @sorges

When a fire devoured the entire Sorge’s building in 2008, that didn’t stop Mike from continuing the family business. After the fire and his brother’s retirement, Mike and his wife Christine re-opened for business in the spring of 2010. Despite this setback Mike never forgot his goal of producing his family’s pasta sauce for customers to purchase and cook with at home.

Mike mentions that, “pretty much throughout the time period before and after the fire, we had been looking for a cost effective way to bottle and sell our tomato sauce.” Glen Copack is different than bigger food manufacturers. We understand that for small businesses or startups, it is difficult to find a co packer that will pay close attention to detail and care for the product in a way that doesn’t break the bank. That’s why Glen Copack is proud to produce products in small batches which keeps prices manageable. We also do not require large minimum production runs.

“We have recently partnered with Glen Copack and now have the opportunity to sell our sauce to our very appreciative customers!”

Mike Sorge
Sorge’s Italian Pasta Sauce produced and bottled by Glen Copack.

More established businesses such as Sorge’s continue to use our services because of our quality controls and reliability. Mike has found “the sauce production process with Glen Copack to be very professional, efficient, and cost effective.”

Sales Manager for Glen Copack, Kelly Miller, would like to add that “one of my favorite parts of working at Glen Copack is being able to partner with local businesses to help promote their products to their loyal customers. It’s always a pleasure working closely together to produce their popular products the way they have envisioned.”

Photo of Sorge’s Restaurant courtesy of Polly Castor, www.pollycastor.com

If you’re on the fence about producing your special product don’t just take our word for it, listen to Mike Sorge when he says, “I would recommend Glen Copack to any business that is looking for a partner to get bottling done.”

“I would recommend Glen Copack to any business that is looking for a partner to get bottling done.”

Glen Copack enjoys producing for local businesses and is grateful to work with the gem of Crystal City, Sorge’s Restaurant. Please visit their website for more information about their story, menus, and purchasing gift cards at www.sorges.com . Make a reservation today and be sure to ask about the pasta sauce!

If you, or someone you know is looking to produce a product at an affordable rate, share this story along with our website  www.glencopack.org and Facebook page @glencopackmanufacturing.

Thank you to Mike Sorge for contributing to the Glen Copack blog and for being a great client!

We’ve Got the Beet

A look at nutrient rich products for a healthier life from Glen Copack client, Dr. Joel Fuhrman

Anne, a Glen Copack employee, is pictured here holding a freshly produced bottle of Dr. Fuhrman’s Almond Balsamic-Vinaigrette Dressing.

The celebrity doctor fad is something we’ve all seen before. From Dr. Oz to Dr. Phil, to doctors who claim to know which ancient root will lead to long-lasting health. Many scoff at such assertions while some might hop online and purchase book after book about the “it” diet of the day.

Some of us buy excessive amounts of fruits and vegetables in hopes of adopting a vegan diet yet others may opt for a hefty bag of potato chips. We aren’t doctors or dieticians here at Glen Copack but we do know about quality ingredients and sophisticated food production. That’s why we are always happy to work with legendary nutritional scientist and New York Times bestselling author, Dr. Joel Fuhrman whose products and philosophy are changing the way people understand food and its effect on our bodies and minds.

Not many of us can claim that we “love nutritional science” but Dr. Fuhrman can. As he shares in his popular TED talk, he has seen firsthand how food can be used as medicine to enhance our lives.

He watched his father drastically change his diet to a more nutrient rich philosophy to cope with health issues. It worked.

The term “Nutritarianism” can be credited to Dr. Fuhrman and describes a diet that is rich with nutrients and aimed at preventing diseases and extending the lifespan. Since 2015, Glen Copack has been working with Dr. Fuhrman producing a number of his revolutionary products.

The dressings we produce are organic, vegan, gluten free, and do not include sugar or oil. That may sound like a whole lot of nothing but these products are delicious and guilt free. The list below is all of the products Glen Copack produces for Dr. Fuhrman:

  • Ketchup
  • Almond Balsamic-Vinaigrette Dressing
  • Blueberry-Pomegranate Dressing
  • Creamy Tomato Soup
  • Mushroom Alfredo Sauce
  • Nutty-naise
  • Orange Cashew Dressing
  • Re-packaging Pine nuts
  • Sesame Ginger Dressing
  • Tex-Mex Salsa
  • Thai Curry Sauce
  • Tuscan Herb Dressing
  • Walnut Vinaigrette Dressing
Joyce putting the final touches on a Dr.Fuhrman product with our labeling machine.

We know that it’s difficult to eat well every day, but we can help point you in the right direction. The products we produce for Dr. Fuhrman can lead you towards better health and a happier life.

Visit Dr. Fuhrman’s online shop at https://shop.drfuhrman.com/ and see what products you might enjoy. Changing your perspective on eating is no easy feat so we at Glen Copack want to remind you to be kind to yourself and eat something tasty!

Glen Copack Opens New Kitchen With Help From Jerlando’s

Glen Copack’s two-year effort to create a food co-packing business that meets the Food Safety Modernization Act regulations while providing employment for people with and without disabilities has reached a major completion milestone.

There is a thrill that comes with crossing the finish line after a long race.

Glen Copack’s two-year effort to create a food co-packing business that meets the Food Safety Modernization Act regulations while providing employment for people with and without disabilities has reached a major completion milestone.

We have crossed that finish line. The 6000 square-foot renovation to build a facility with multiple food production spaces was fully realized on August 24 with the first 100 gallon production run of a Jerlando’s Ristorante and Pizza Co.’s pizza sauce.

Our Glen Copack staff was excited to work with Jerlando‘s (located near Glen Copack in Watkins Glen, NY) as the inaugural production in our wet kitchen.

Bill Tague, owner of Jerlando’s in Watkins Glen, examines the filler head and new heat jacket.

The Jerlando’s family was equally excited with multiple members of the family attending and assisting with the production.

The new Glen Copack production space has been designed to allow for multiple simultaneous productions of both wet and dry products with enough space to maintain preventive controls for allergen management and cross contamination prevention.

With all of our resources available and fully operational we are looking forward to growing Glen Copack as the area’s quality food production facility for food entrepreneurs.

Glen Copack Renovations Continue

Glen Copack has undergone an enormous transformation since work began on the facility. Check out our massive new exhaust hood.

Glen Copack has undergone an enormous transformation since work began on the facility December 5, 2018.

Most recently, the exhaust hood for the new kettle was installed. The hood is over 14 feet in length and will be large enough to handle two kettles. One kettle will be in use initially.

The kettle itself will have a 100-gallon capacity. That’s nearly double the size of the current kettle.

The exhaust hood installation was a major undertaking that lasted several days.

The Newest Kitchen

The new wet kitchen provides an improved space for production of low-acid and acidified foods.

The “old” wet kitchen will now be used as a training area for current and future copack employees. As a result, our 60-gallon kettle will continue to be utilized for training and testing new products.

“All of our current projects will move forward to provide more inclusive service options for people within the Schuyler County community. ”

-Arc of Schuyler Executive Director Jeanette Frank
Set up for labeling and shipping out of the facility.

Further construction remains for the “new” wet kitchen. The new kettle will arrive and be installed this summer. Other work will be finished in the meantime.

Dry Fill Kitchen in Full Swing

Meanwhile, our new dry fill kitchen has been fully operational for several months. Multiple products have come out of the new dry manufacturing space. Additionally, good use has been made of ingredient and packaging storage areas in the 5,000 square foot building.

Flexibility is key. The setup of the facility changes to fit our daily production schedule. Whatever is going on takes center stage.

Multiple kitchens means multiple productions can be happening at the same time. Plus, non-food work can be occurring in the other area of the facility.

“You see what they’re trying to do and the vision of connecting the dots, and kudos to Jeannette and her team and the board here for being proactive and to take the economic interests of the community, tie it with the mission of The Arc and put together a win win relationship.”

-United States Congressman Tom Reed (NY-23)

Schedule your test run now or get a hold of us to find out how we can help bring your product to market.

The Arc of Schuyler Receives $20,000 Check from Cargill for Glen Copack


Pictured: Cargill Cares Committee lead, Jerry Dunlavey and Diana Warn present $20,000 check to The Arc of Schuyler’s Director of Business Services, Wendy Shutter and Sales Manager, Kelly Miller.

The Arc of Schuyler hosted a public open house April 16 for its new food manufacturing facility, Glen Copack, at its 203 12th Street location in Watkins Glen.

Cargill storeroom manager and Cargill Cares community lead, Jerry Dunlavey, and Diana Warn presented The Arc of Schuyler a check for $20,000, the first installment of a three-year $60,000 pledge.

The Cargill grant will go towards costs associated with the next phase of The Arc’s Glen Copack project, a safe food production and career readiness-training program. The Arc is collaborating with Watkins Glen School on the program, which will be open to people with and without disabilities. The goal is to help develop a workforce with technical skills and work skills that regional businesses need in entry-level employees.

Director of Business Services, Wendy Shutter and Sales Manager, Kelly Miller received the check on behalf of The Arc of Schuyler.

“Renovations to the facility are almost complete and new equipment has been ordered,” Shutter said. “Once equipment is installed, production capacity will double. The space has been designed to also allow for future expansion.”

Glen Copack is certified by NYS Ag & Markets to produce dry ingredient and acidified and low-acidified food products. The business currently produces about 40 products for a dozen customers including local and international businesses. The facility is about 5,000 sq. ft. and after recent renovations has separate wet-fill and dry-fill kitchens to increase efficiency and capacity. A new GMP Ready Room provides space for employees to participate in training and prepare for work in the secure production area.

The Glen Copack team guided attendees through the new facility and thanked the many grantors and local donors of The Arc’s ongoing capital campaign. Glen Copack is one of the projects supported by the campaign, which has about $100,000 remaining to raise.

Tours are available for those interested by emailing glencopack@arcofschuyler.org or call 607.535.6934.

For more information, visit www.arcofschuyler.org or www.glencopack.org.

WENY News

Questions to Ask Co-Packers

What are some key questions to ask co-packers? Restauranteurs, food inventors, and food distributors have different needs, but starting with the basics is a smart approach. If you’re ready to engage a food co-packer, check out this list of questions before making that first phone call or sending an initial email.

What do you pack?

Different co-packers have different capabilities. For example, Glen Copack manufactures acidified and low-acidified foods. We’re also equipped for hot fill and cold fill bottling as well as for drill fill products. Other co-packers specialize in meat processing or have frozen food capabilities.

What don’t you pack?

Don’t just ask what a co-packer can do. Find out what they can’t do to avoid any misunderstandings. For example, Glen Copack can’t pack unpasteurized dairy or raw meat products. Co-packing companies with these capabilities exist, but they need to have the proper certifications and equipment.

How big are your batches?

Sometimes, a co-packer with the right capabilities can’t manufacture your projects in the quantities that you need. That’s why it’s important to ask about typical batch size and the ability to complete multiple batches in one day. At Glen Copack, our typical batch size is 60 gallons.

What do you supply?

Find out what a co-packer can supply in terms of ingredients, packaging, labels, and storage. For example, Glen Copack can share a list of providers who carry ingredients. We can also work with your packaging vendor and label designer. We don’t provide long-term storage, however.

What do I need to supply?

Find out everything you’ll need to supply – and when. At Glen Copack, this means ordering ingredients and packaging so that they arrive no sooner than one week before your scheduled production day. You’ll also need to arrange for your products to be picked up or shipped within 10 days of completion.

What additional services can you provide?

Whether you’re new to co-packing or a seasoned food entrepreneur, it’s important to determine what additional services (if any) that a co-packing company provides. For example, can you get assistance with packaging, sealing, labeling, and shipping preparation? Can you get help with a Scheduled Process, too?

Am I too far way to work with you?

Finally, don’t forgot to ask about geographic location. With Glen Copack, distance is not a barrier. In fact, we work with customers from all over the country. You can have your ingredients shipped to us, and then arrange to have your products shipped to the destination that you choose.

More Questions to Ask Co-Packers

These aren’t the only questions to ask co-packers, of course, but now you’re off to a strong start. To learn more about working with a food co-packer, contact Glen Copack and let us know that you read this blog entry.