June 2018 Honoree
Alpine Made, LLC
Owner of New York State’s only organic dairy goat farm and and founder of Alpine Made, an organic soap and skincare business that supports healthy, clean, sustainable living. Not a bad resume but also an evolving one for a business owner and mom who started her career as a USDA inspector.
Kerry Planck might not have originally planned to emulate her grandfather, who operated five different family farms. She pursued degrees in environmental forest biology and a Masters in ecology before becoming an inspector with the US Department of Agriculture. It was in 2009 that she and her then-husband started their family and she reached back to her roots and established her 15-acre goat farm.
In addition to her Alpine Made certified organic soaps and skincare products made with goat milk, Kerry offers workshops for the on the farm. Community workshops include organic/sustainable farming methods (Kerry is a big proponent of respecting the land) and product making (such as scrubs, salves, and soaps) as well as events like a popular goat yoga day that encourages community involvement with farm life (and hey! baby goats are awfully cute!)
Her hard work has resulted in Wegmans carrying Alpine Made products in local stores in addition to Whole Foods Buffalo store (she’s currently in negotiation to place her organic products in NYC Whole Foods stores as well).
Her farm is a 100% woman-owned as well as Hispanic-owned operation in what is traditionally a male dominated industry. The business helps serve the community through collaborations with area small businesses to encourage the growth of the local economy. We participate and host farm events that promote all-around health and wellness (hosting yoga at the farm and bringing her goats out to spend time with the local community to teach about organic farming and sustainable living). She works with business organizations to teach about entrepreneurship and how she built a farm business from scratch.
She participated as a guest speaker (SBA Success Story) in the yearly Straight Talk Series organized by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Buffalo District Office held annually in Buffalo. Alpine Made won two awards in 2016 from the Small Business Development Center (Client of the Year) and SCORE (small business of the year award). Her audio interview in 2017 with SCORE highlighted Kerry’s efforts in building her brand and farm from scratch and how a women and minority owned businesses can participate in community outreach to help encourage others to live their dreams and create their own enterprises, even with no starting capital or resources to do so.
Photo copyright: ©QweenCity and Jillian Barrile