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BelGioioso Invests in Polly-O Brand

BelGioioso Cheese, which completed its acquisition of Polly-O cheese two years ago, has announced strategic investments in the brand.

Polly-O cheese has been around since 1899, when Giuseppe Pollio found success making and selling his Fresh Mozzarella on Long Island, New York.   

From Pollio Latticini, a small Italian Deli Store, the business expanded and a plant was built in  Campbell, New York, in 1938. The iconic Polly the Parrot was introduced when the spelling of Pollio changed to the present-day Polly-O brand name in 1948.

With its acquisition of the brand, BelGioioso has now brought the parrot back, updating most of the packaging to include it. The restyling also created nostalgic nod to Polly-O’s beginnings while celebrating its evolution and popularity, according to the company.

“If you grew up on the East Coast, Polly-O Ricotta and Mozzarella are certainly part of your childhood’s family lunches at your grandmother’s house” said Gaetano Auricchio, president of BelGioioso Cheese, in a statement. “We will continue honoring that tradition and plan on growing the Polly-O line, introducing new, innovative and high-quality cheeses into the Dairy section.”

Polly-O operations are running separately from BelGioioso, with a dedicated sales team led by Timothy Cronin who has been the driving force behind Polly-O’s renewed dedication to customers, quality, and service, according to BelGioioso.  

The company has invested $3 million to upgrade the Campbell plant and has also built a new distribution center for Polly-O cheeses in Glenville, New York.

These strategic investments, along with an additional $7 million planned in the next year, will allow Polly-O to provide better service and longer shelf life, thanks to improved operations and production planning.

“Investing in the people and community of farmers made the most sense to us,” said Auricchio. “The New York employees have shown us that they are committed to the brand and we could not turn our backs on that.”

Related: Cheese Focus: Demystifying Marinated Cheeses; Cheers to Cheese and Beer.