Trimona Yogurt

Farm/Brand HeadquartersPort Jefferson, NY
Market AreaTX, OR, NY, CA, IL, Northeast
Total Score1400

They write: “My name is Atanas Valev and I am the founder of Trimona Foods, Inc. I was born in Plovdiv, Bulgaria – a crossroad of many ethnic cultures and religions. And a city older than some of the oldest cities in the world: Rome, Athens, and Constantinople.

In 342 BC, Plovdiv was conquered by Philip II of Macedon (father of Alexander the Great) and it was named Philipopolis. During the Roman invasion in the middle of 1st century AD, Philipopolis became part of the Roman Empire and was renamed Trimontium (The City of the Three Hills). In the last century, the most popular hotel-restaurant in Plovdiv was named Trimontium and became a symbol of the city. The citizens of Plovdiv gave it the nickname, “Trimona”.

Whether it’s a budding rock band practicing in their garage, a writer scribbling her tale on some napkins, or an artist sketching his masterpiece on some old notebooks, our story is no different. It all began late at night in my cramped kitchen. I remember waking up my wife in the middle of the night and asking her to taste the last batch that just came out, holding a spoon of yogurt before her half-asleep face. Despite the sleepless nights and failures, there was some indescribable excitement about making yogurt in my kitchen. I was absolutely passionate about it and there was no stopping me.

Those first steps were followed by a two-year transition from that tiny kitchen to our creamery. We incorporated the peacock feather motif, a pattern used in the traditional Bulgarian pottery in our label design. Centuries ago, yogurt was made and served in these beautifully decorated ceramic bowls. We want to preserve that history and continue the tradition by using it on our very own cups.

We are confident in three things:
1) Cows should eat grass
2) We whole-heartedly love yogurt
3) With this whole-hearted love, we believe that yogurt
should be made from whole milk

We do not strain our yogurt and we keep the healthy whey. Nothing is removed and nothing is added. This is what we call natural and that’s how our Bulgarian yogurt was born in New York.

Yogurt is a huge part of the Bulgarian culture. It is the most popular food as it is used in many recipes and healing remedies. In the Bulgarian language it is called “kiselo mliak”? which translates to “sour milk”. That?s why the original yogurt is tangy and tart in its flavor. Just like a good wine that needs to age in an oak barrel to bring out the best of its flavor, this tangy and tart flavor is the required proof of the quality of the yogurt.”

TOTAL (possible score is 1600 plus extra credit) 1400
5-Cow Rating | Top-Rated—Beyond Organic
Ownership structure70Small corporation
Milk Supply80Milk of integrity from local farms
Organic Production80Markets both organic and conventional products (split operations)
Disclosure of Information for Verification100Full disclosure
Organic Certification100International Certification Services, Inc. (ICS) (farms certifier); Ecocert, ICO (processing and products certifier)
Other Labels/Standards40Non-GMO certified
Soy Free Ration?No
Pasture70Good pasture compliance
Times Milked90Two times a day (standard protocol on legitimate organic dairies)
Cull/death Rate55Moderate cull/death rate
Replacements100Closed herd
Calves75Removed shortly after birth (standard practice)
Antibiotic Use100No antibiotic use
Hormone Usage100No hormones used
Farm Support90Representatives visit farm regularly
Procurement of Ingredients100No outside ingredients used
Extra Credit90Organic Systems Plan submitted - very transparent. With respect to the concern of fraudulent grain imports, this brand's suppliers grow most of the feed on-farm, with some purchased on the open market.