In a scant four years, Hamdi Ulukaya has built something even Silicon Valley types should covet: a $700 million business that’s profitable, dominant and growing at a furious clip. Even more incredible: Ulukaya makes yogurt.
Hamdi Ulukaya came to the United States from Turkey in 1997 to learn English and continue his education at the University at Albany. A visit from his father changed the direction of his life.
“When father realized that there were few quality dairy products, more specifically cheese, available to the U.S. market, it became apparent that I was destined to pursue a career in the dairy industry,” says Ulukaya. Benefiting from his father’s prompting and encouragement, and his own hard work, Ulukaya now runs two companies, Euphrates Inc. in Johnstown, which makes feta cheese, and Agro-Farma Inc. based in South Edmeston in Otsego County, a producer of Greek yogurt.
“Both companies are challenging and rewarding, both personally and professionally,” says Ulukaya. “I love working with people and I have a great team. Competition is great as well. I love the challenge.”
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