Amy's sales may drive up size of building

Tax-exempt Science of the Soul charitable society to occupy same 225-acre site as large-scale organic food producer


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About Science of the Soul

Science of the Soul Research Centre is a registered charitable Society based in New Delhi, India. Its main objective is to promote a sense of brotherhood and communal harmony for the betterment of humanity. One of the ways the Society tries to meet this objective is to conduct research into the spiritual literature of various systems of belief and schools of thought. The Society’s aim is to help eradicate bias, prejudice, ill-will, and acrimony between people by revealing their common spiritual heritage and thus forging bonds of empathy and fellowship, the building blocks of love and understanding.
The Society undertakes the dissemination of these principles through the printing, distribution and sale of books.
(Excerpted from Science of the Soul's webpage: scienceofthesoul.org)

By Geri Corey

— Tom Richmond, representing Amy’s Kitchen, came to the last Goshen Town Board meeting asking for project direction.

“Science of the Soul and Amy’s on the same site is tight," Richard explained to officials. "Sales for Amy’s are growing faster than predicted, and we’d like to expand the size of the food producing building.”

“A few days a year are important to us. Our spiritual leader lives in India. He tells people to look inside their selves to become a better person. People get inspired and then go home. Most of the year, you won’t know they’re here.”
Tom Richmond, Amy's Kitchen

He said the company is seeking ways to enlarge the main structure as well as provide space for the Science of the Soul conference center and parking.

Richmond said there’s one large annual Science of the Soul meeting of 12,000 people that lasts for three days, with an estimated annual spending of $4 million while in town; a once-a-year regional event of 1,500 people that lasts two days; and Sunday meetings every week with about 200 people participating.

On Saturdays volunteers do service — for instance, in the kitchen, or on the grounds — to maintain the property. And weekdays there are about 15 people on the grounds. There are no collections, and the center is never rented out, Richmond said.

“A few days a year are important to us," he said. "Our spiritual leader lives in India. He tells people to look inside their selves to become a better person. People get inspired and then go home. Most of the year, you won’t know they’re here.”

Richmond noted that Science of the Soul isn’t religious and that “people can keep their own religion.” However, under the law it is entitled to tax-free status.

The application for constructing Amy’s, a large-scale natural and organic food company in a 580,000-square-foot plant, was submitted to the town planning board in April. The 225-acre parcel is located between Route 17M and Echo Lake Road.

Richmond said Amy’s is looking to expand the original building size — from a 350,000 square feet building initially to 660,00 square feet — and locate a parcel for the conference center.

Two parcels in the area, one a 73-acre site and the other 98-acres, are being considered. The properties don’t have to be close to Amy’s, Richmond said. In California, the Science of the Soul site is a 100-acre rural scenic parcel. The building occupies 20 acres and the rest is open land, supporting an olive grove.

Richmond said Amy’s has been warmly welcomed into the Goshen community, and that they are committed to moving forward with the project.

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