It's time now to begin our 6 week-long look at products that are grown and made right here at home. Eyewitness News Reporter Jennifer Lee starts us off with the obvious businesses in our community.
Some of you drive by their headquarters on the way to work or you may buy some of their products on a daily basis. They all make different products, but these well-known companies started in a similar way; ideas that became a reality.
Maybe you have one packed for lunch or you're saving it for a mid-day snack. Whatever it may be, we see Chobani yogurt stocked all over supermarket shelves in different flavors competing with other brands. In fact, it's now considered the best selling yogurt in America.
Of course, Chobani is made right here in Central New York in South Edmeston and it's just five years old. It all started with one man from turkey who didn't like the taste of yogurt at his local grocery store here in the states. However, Chobani wasn't always that successful.
The company has expanded by, building a plant in Idaho to make even more yogurt. Shoppers can find their product across the country as well as Canada and Australia.
Chobani has grown from five employees to over 1,200 employees to using one truck of milk a day to using 3 million pounds of it each day.
It's a similar story for one bottled water company in Forestport. Nirvana started business with ten employees, sending out only one truckload a day. Now, the company has 150 workers, sending out 30 truckloads of water a day all over the country.
Nirvana says the quality and taste of its water is really what sets it apart from the competitors.
"The water comes up by its own force and we build a spring house on top of this occurrence. We just collect the water and pump it straight to the facility," explained Mo Rafizadeh, V.P. of Nirvana.
Rafizadeh says Nirvana is one of the only companies in the country that owns its own resources for the spring water that they bottle.
"Most water companies buy their spring water from an outside source and tanker their water into the facility and then bottle it. So we are a very unique situation compared to most bottled water companies."
And not only that, Nirvana makes some of its own water bottles right from scratch, buying the plastic resin pellets.
"Feed it into a machine. It creates the preform. From the preform we put it in the blow mold and blow the bottle right from there. So we are taking raw resin and out comes a bottle of water," said Rafizadeh.
The bottler is also expected to produce its own bottle caps which are currently being bought from an outside supplier. Chobani and Nirvana are both products that Central New Yorkers and people across the country eat or drink every day.
If that doesn't impress you, the next time you're on the operating table, the surgeon may be handling equipment made in Utica.
"There are 5,000 or so hospitals in the United States and I think you would probably find a CONMED product in just about every one of them," explained President and CEO Joseph Corasanti.
Corasanti is now running CONMED Corporation started by his father. The company started in the 70s manufacturing disposable ECG electrods used to monitor people's heartbeats. Now, the company has expanded.
CONMED says it launches anywhere where between 8 to 12 new products every year. And in the past five years, it's been coming out with specialized products.
"We have sports medicine products. These are minimally invasive surgical devices used to visualize, repair and diagnose injuries in the joint space primarily in the knee and shoulder.
CONMED began as a small, private company. Now, it's a large, publicly held medical device organization with ten manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and sales offices throughout the world.
Although many say we are no longer a manufacturing nation, there's proof right here in CNY that businesses are hard at work, still putting out products and serving people all over the country.