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Reykjavik Creamery

Reykjavik Creamery4

Artisan Quality / Nordic Simplicity

Reykjavik Creamery

Newville, PA

Hidden in the scenic Cumberland Valley just north of Newville, sits Reykjavik Creamery, a high-tech food manufacturing facility that specializes in premium cultured artisan dairy products. The 30,000 sq ft. facility creates specialized dairy products, including strained yogurt, called Skyr otherwise known as Icelandic Style Yogurt.

Skyr is a high protein fermented dairy product, originated in Iceland, and is today made with custom designed Ultrafiltration technology, which ensures, higher protein yield, better mouthfeel and more flexibility for a given milkfat than is possible with most conventional, centrifugal separators. By using this technology, no solids are lost, except for lactose. Bringing this technology to make Skyr in America is something Reykjavik Creamery founder, Gunnar Birgisson, thought would be a nice addition to the U.S. yogurt market.

“As a contract manufacturer, Reykjavik Creamery will contribute to the increasing demand from consumers for coherence between quality of taste, sustainability and health benefits, meaning low sugar, simple ingredients and clean labels.

We are grateful for how well Cumberland County has greeted our business. We want to make a positive impact on the community and support dairy farmers and other connected businesses with our new dairy plant” said Reykjavik Creamery Founder, Gunnar Birgisson.

Birgisson, along with his Icelandic investors, made a significant personal financial investment in Reykjavik Creamery and, in addition to bringing a high-quality healthy food product to the US, he has created 15 direct jobs in Cumberland County, including seasoned-dairy manufacturer Don Everett, who serves the role of being the Chief Operating Officer. Reykjavik also supports many indirect jobs in Pennsylvania, such as contractors, suppliers and distributors.

The current management team, including Susan Tandle, Vice President and Blaise Watson, Production Manager have put together a team of highly skilled employees and they plan on hiring at least 15 other employees over the next two years to keep up with the growing number of co-packing customers.

“We have been very fortunate to be able to attract and retain local, high-quality talent that fosters a culture of inclusion, respect, creativity and flexibility. Even in this challenging labor market, applicants have sought us out as an employer of choice given the values we represent and the unique, premium market we serve.” said  Reykjavik Vice President, Susan Tandle.

Reykjavik Creamery sees Newville as a prime location to produce their dairy products due to Pennsylvania’s climate for excellent grass-fed milk, as well as being at the southern end of the “Yogurt Belt.” Like many producers and manufacturers in Cumberland County, the regions’ locale provides access to major markets in the northeast US and to shipping hubs for faster distribution of their products.

Jamie Keener, CAEDC CEO says “The Reykjavik Creamery is one of several manufacturing facilities in Cumberland County that takes advantage of our tremendous agriculture history and the milk supply available in southcentral Pennsylvania. The technology used in their processing is advanced and representative of the future of agriculture in our region.”

Cumberland County is within a 10-hour drive of over 50% of the US population, providing for a tremendous sales opportunity for such a unique and desired product.

As a co-packer, Reykjavik Creamery can offer reasonable volume minimums and filling capability for most commonly used yogurt cup sizes in the US, from 4 to 32 oz, both as blended and fruit on the bottom. Reykjavik Creamery has the capability to receive and process conventional, non-GMO and organic milk.

Reykjavik Creamery’s products are private-label, meaning they produce specialized dairy items for commercial brands. With their specialized equipment and knowledge, Reykjavik Creamery can produce various cultured dairy products like Greek Yogurt and Quark in addition to the Icelandic-style Skyr. Other items such as protein drinks, milk, non-GMO-Milk, Lactose Free, Organic Milk, and butter may be processed at the facility.  The company is Non-GMO Project Verified, Gluten-Free, and SQF Level II Certified.


Gunnar, a father of three and previously the CFO for the Coca-Cola bottling facility in Iceland, – is an Icelandic entrepreneur, mountain runner and confessed foodie with passion for Skyr. He founded Reykjavik Creamery to expand the production of Skyr in the United States so that Americans could benefit from this nutritious Icelandic staple and fuel their active lifestyles. Skyr is an integral part of the Icelandic culture, and has kept the Icelandic peoples satiated for more than 1000 years in the land of Fire and Ice.


Ultra-filtration is the natural way to optimize the value of dairy products. The technology is used for creating fermented products such as​ skyr and Greek yogurt and other similar highly viscous fermented products.

Fermented milk contains a number of dissolved or dispersed components of different molecular or particle sizes. By using membranes with pores of different sizes, it is possible to separate exactly the components you wish into separate liquid streams.  Membrane filtration is a technology that separates a liquid into two streams using a semi-permeable membrane.

A difference in pressure forces the components that are smaller than the membrane pores through the membrane as “permeate”. The remaining components are retained as “retentate”. A substantial flow moving parallel to the membrane prevents the membrane surface from blocking during the process. This is known as crossflow filtration.

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