Chobani gets national award

The U.S. Small Business Administration has selected Chobani, maker of Chobani Greek Yogurt, as the national winner of the 2012 Entrepreneurial Success of the Year Award.

Nominated by KeyBank, the New Berlin-based Chobani was chosen for the award based on its dramatic growth in sales, employees and business size as well as charitable contributions.

The yogurt maker began in Upstate New York using an Administration loan to purchase a closed Kraft Foods plant. Chobani started with five employees and a product sold to a single grocery store. Today, Chobani is the top selling yogurt in the United States, shipping 1.7 million cases weekly to grocery and shopper club stores nationwide.

The company now employs over 1,200 and plans to hire an additional 400 when its Idaho facility opens later this year. The 900,000-square-foot high-efficiency facility in Twin Falls, Idaho, will be the largest yogurt plant in the county.

As part of Chobani’s "Nothing But Good" philosophy, the company is committed to supporting local farmers and strengthening economic growth in the communities where it is located.

Chobani gives a portion of its annual profits to charities worldwide through its Shepherd’s Gift Foundation, the company’s charitable arm.