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Ben Katzenstein, President of Star Kay White

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In this episode Harold King and Johnnieanne Hansen from the Council of Industry interview Ben Katzenstein, President of Congers based Star Kay White.

Star Kay White “makes the stuff that makes Ice cream great.” From flavor extracts like vanilla, peppermint and lemon, to candies like toffee, chocolate chips and nuts Star Kay White makes ingredients for all the major brands including Turkey Hill, Friendly’s Breyer’s and Ben and Jerry’s.  The company recently celebrated its 130 anniversary by opening its new candy making facility. They did so, appropriately enough, on Valentine’s Day. Ben Katzenstein is the 4th generation to run the business and his sons Alex and Gabe are now also part of the leadership team. 

Harold and Johnnieanne talk with Ben about the sacrifices and rewards of running a family business and what it takes to get a business to the 5th generation; the importance of treating your workforce like family; the challenges facing small food manufacturers; and the opportunities the company sees in the future.  We also learn about the important role immigrants have played, and continue to play in the success of Star Kay White.


If you are curious to learn more about Star Kay White, Ben and his style of leadership, the Fall of 2017 edition of HV MFG, published by the Council of Industry, features a leader Q&A with Ben.