At Minerva Dairy, we don’t JUST make butter…we eat, sleep, and dream butter! We make better butter because we’re better at making butter. It would be hard not to after 125 years! We’re all still living by Grandma Lorraine’s adage, “There’s not much in life that can’t be made better with butter.”
The current owners, Venae and Adam, grew up in the business, obsessing over butter, like the 4 generations before them. They opened Christmas gifts in the dairy while Phil unloaded the milk trucks. They got rolls of butter in their stockings. They ate butter sandwiches as after school snacks. It was all about the butter.
While Adam and Venae have put their own spin on things, the process of making the butter hasn’t changed. It was and has always been about better butter. Likewise, they’ve set the business up for success by raising 12 members of the 6th generation.
In 1976, Phil took over the business. With 26 years of butter experience, Phil’s passion for the business was ready. With the sudden passing of Delbert in 1976, the company continued to thrive with the matriarch Lorraine, her son Phil, and his newlywed-wife, Polly. They navigated the dairy through the dark ages (when people were brainwashed into believing margarine was good for you), in addition to raising the 5th generation, Venae and Adam.
3rd Generation: Lorraine Mueller (née Radloff) & Delbert Mueller (1934)
Roland’s daughter Lorraine met the love of her life, Delbert Mueller. Both were born into families in the dairy industry who instilled in them a deep, deep love of butter. Their love for each other, however, was forbidden! Their families were direct competitors, and it was rumored the Muellers set fire to one of the Radloff’s facilities! That’s butter lovin’ crazy!
Lorraine and Delbert got married anyway running off to Minerva, OH (a butter paradise,… course) to begin their new life together making butter. They had nowhere to live and couldn’t pay rent in butter, so they built an apartment within the dairy. Here, they raised the 4th generation of butter lovers, Phil and Karen.
Max’s son Roland inherited the thriving business in 1912 but was unable to maintain it when his wife died suddenly. Max was ready and waiting to jump back into the butter…or business, rather.
As Max got older and began considering what to do with his life, he opted not to take over his father’s furniture business. He chose butter and cheese to be exact. Cause, well…you can’t eat furniture. Opening Radloff Cheese in Hustisford, WI, Max kicked off 125 years of butter love!
Think we’re just a bunch of crazy, obsessed, butter lovers? You’d be right!