The Daily Dairy

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12 Things You Never Knew About Minerva Dairy

At Minerva Dairy, we’ve been eating, sleeping, and dreaming of butter for over 125 years.  Since we’ve been in the industry for so long (you could call us pros), it might feel like everything there is to know about us is already known.  But, we feel like our history is so rich with exciting facts that might surprise you!  So, we put our heads together and thought of 12 fun facts about us that you might not already know.

Get your butter knives ready; we’re going to cut in!

  1. We are the oldest family-owned cheese and butter producers in the USA.  That’s right, we’re 127!
  2. Additionally, according to an article written by Forbes in 2011, we believe that we are the seventh oldest family-owned business across the nation!
  3. Our current facility was originally the 20th property purchased by our 1st generation owner and founder, Max Radloff.  At the time, the property was owned by PET Milk Company, and the plant used coal to power their boilers until 1965.
  4. Our second-generation owners had a little bit of a Romeo and Juliet story!  In the 1920s and 1930s, there were not set rules for milk making like we have today.  Instead, dairy farms were at the mercy of the local dairy processing facilities.  While some areas had multiple places to process their dairy, Hustisford (where they were located), was not one of those places.  Because of that, there were often quarrels between the farms and the dairy processors.  Lorraine, our second-generation owner, fell in love with Delbert, the dairy processor’s son, who did not get along with Lorraine’s parents.  Ultimately the couple left Hustisford and made their home where we are now in Ohio.  Queue the romance!
  5. Our original name was not Minerva Dairy.  When Grandma Lorraine, third-generation owner, inherited ownership from her grandfather in 1962, she changed the name from Radloff & Sons to Minerva Dairy Inc.  It’s all in a name, right?
  6. While we’ve always been making better butter, we also produced milk and ice cream.  In fact, from 1939 until 1987, Minerva had an Ice Cream Sandwich Bar!
  7. Minerva Dairy didn’t start making its butter and cheese under its own label until the 1970s.  Until this point, Minerva Dairy was a private labeling company.
  8. Our fourth-generation owner, Phil Mueller, was the first to produce Lacey Swiss.  While we don’t create Lacey Swiss anymore, we have dedicated our beloved Cow Statue on Route 30 to this product.  Her name?  Lacey May.
  9. We currently make millions of pounds of butter per year at a rate of 20,000 pounds per day.
  10. We pasteurize between 450,000 and 600,000 pounds of milk per day, 6 or 7 days a week.  That’s between 52,000 and 70,000 gallons of milk a day!
  11. We name everything on site the way people name their boats.  Our milk silos, tanks, vats, and churns all have unique and memorable names.  Elsa, Bertha, Mable, Sally, Chilly, Polly, just to name a few.  Turns out, that’s pretty unique!  Nobody else in the industry takes the time to name their machinery.
  12. Venae Watts and Adam Mueller, the 5th generation of butter geeks, both have large families!  Adam has adopted 3 children and Venae 2, saying, “Changing the world starts with the children.”  Raising the 6th generation of better butter fanatics one child at a time!

In a family of 6 generations of butter lovers, it’s safe to say there was a lot of cooking…and a lot of butter. We encourage you to get in the kitchen, cooking with and for your loved ones. Always remember, if all else fails, just add butter!

We hope you enjoyed our blog. For some delicious recipes featuring Minerva Dairy’s better butter, head to our Recipes page. Be sure to keep up with our latest creations through our FacebookPinterest, or Instagram page and our top tips through our blogs.

The Daily Diary