PHILADELPHIA − January 23, 2020 − With the help of a state grant, dairy processing will make a return to a historic Philadelphia facility, state Sen. Larry Farnese announced today.

Pennsylvania’s Dairy Investment Program awarded Perrystead Dairy LLC $126,039 to  help restore the former Harbison’s Dairy in Kensington to serve the growing need for high-end milk products.

“While milk consumption has waned over the years, the demand for gourmet cheese and other upscale milk products is growing, especially in Philadelphia neighborhoods,” Farnese said. “Perrystead will fill this need and restore a neighborhood tradition. I’m happy to support this state investment in urban agriculture.”

Perrystead will use the grant to install a self-contained creamery unit at its Coral St. facility, where the giant milk bottle looms over the site that closed a half-century ago.  The company plans to process 5,000 lbs. of milk per week in 2020, with the potential for doubling that capacity the following year.  The unit will allow the company to comply with regulations in order to ship products, including kefir, yogurt, whey tonic and artisan cheese, across state lines.

Harbison, opened in 1860, operated for more than 100 years in Kensington.

“Easily the best thing about my Senate district is the diversity,” Farnese said. “We have businesses and non-profits of all kinds and to see a city facility help Pennsylvania’s dairy industry is groundbreaking.”


J.P. Kurish