CORFU, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Genesee County staple is closing its doors. The owners of the Kutter’s Cheese Factory retail store announced on Facebook that it would be closing after more than 70 years in business.
“We just wanted to keep that little old fashioned cheese store going and it’s breaking both of our hearts right now to end a legacy,” Heather Bailey, co-owner of Kutter’s Cheese Factory Store told News 4.
Kutter’s Cheese is marking its final week in Genesee County. While Yancy’s Fancy Cheese will still be sold at retail stores, Kutter’s Cheese and the factory store are closing.
“It really was shocking. I couldn’t believe it,” Tom Prisaznuk of Pembroke said.
Loyal patrons heard the news and lined up, waiting to go in just one last time. Many said they remember going to the store as kids, even recalling cheesy family recipes .
“I love this place. I heard it was going out of business yesterday so I headed out,” Carol Geyer of Batavia continued. “We came here when we were kids. My mom and dad took us here. It’s been like a family thing. We’ve always come here.
The Bailey family bought the store front more than a decade ago and say Heather brought it back to life. The COVID-19 pandemic drastically decreased in person sales and increased production costs.
To be clear, production of Yancy’s Fancy isn’t shutting down; just the store. Owners Heather and Brian Bailey say the store closure is due to discontinued cheeses, labor shortages and a number of conditions related to rising costs. For instance, they described shipping costs as “outrageous.”
“Our online business died because of the massive hike in shipping. Companies have discontinued so many cheese which effects our fundraisers and wholesale customers,” Heather Bailey added.
The store’s last day is Friday and each day leading up to it is bittersweet.
“My mom would make the macaroni and cheese with it. Even my kids to this day always enjoy the Kutter’s Cheese,” Prisaznuk said. “I bought stuff this morning. I was here first thing at 10am. I stopped back today to get another load for my niece. It’s pretty cool and I’ll probably stop again before they close.”
“You know what you gave, but you don’t know if it was received. Today’s been nothing but love,” Brian Bailey, co-owner of Kutter’s Cheese Factory Store, said.
“It’s so difficult to say goodbye to our wonderful, selfless and hard working employees and to you, our customers,” the company’s Facebook post read. “We’ve had the privilege to meet so many wonderful people and exchange smiles and our love of cheese.”
In the same post, Kutter’s indicated that the retail business may come back in the future.
“But in the meantime, we’ll just say so long for now,” they wrote.
Through Friday, the store is having a sale. This was announced with an image that read “everything must go.”
The Bailey family says they’re not sure what’s next for them but you might see a storefront in the near future. The store, which is located at 857 Main Road in Corfu, is open Monday through Friday this week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award, JANY Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.
Tara Lynch is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a reporter in 2022. She previously worked at WETM in Elmira, N.Y., a sister station of News 4. You can follow Tara on Facebook and Twitter and find more of her work here.