In reflection of the bright, sunny weather we seem to be having lately, it was my pleasure to speak to the newest member of East Hill Creamery, Mike Lapiana. Mike is the oldest of all of the cheesemakers, married 20 years and has two sons. However I could hear from his exuberant demeanor that his spirit is young. It was a pleasure to hear about his host of work and life experiences that has already enriched the EHC family.
Born and raised in Perry, NY Mike has had a strong connection to the area and people in our community. He worked locally at Champion Products for 14 years, another 15 years for Athletica of Geneseo. Managing the warehouse for the past 10 years, Mike has a lot of knowledge in the way shipping and receiving should properly function, which will be of great use to the Burley’s as they continue to grow in their business.
When I asked Mike why he decided he wanted to join the East Hill team, he had a simple answer. He said “there is no real magical answer, only he wanted a change.” And a change it sure is! As he saw the building being constructed, he told his children every time he drove by “I am going to work there someday” and he just felt like it was the right place, and the right time.
Mike works in the “make room” in partnership with our other cheesemaker, Dillon. Although he sees the age difference in their work, he says that they make a great team, and that the rest of the staff “keeps him young”. He is surely enjoying the learning curve of cheese making, and is looking forward to our consultant Alex returning to teach more of the chemistry and science behind the processes they do. With an open mind and lots of life experience to propel him, Mike says he is “blessed to be working with such great people, in a business the community is truly excited about supporting”.