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History

The Natural Goodness of Maine since 1921

When Oakhurst Dairy first began, fresh milk was delivered in glass bottles by horse-drawn wagons. Since then, the story of Oakhurst Dairy has been one of growth, innovation, service and success. Under the guidance of three generations of the Bennett family, Oakhurst has continued the heritage of community service and environmental stewardship established by Stanley T. Bennett.

Here are some of the highlights of that story:

  • 20142014 -

     On January 31st, Oakhurst is acquired by Dairy Farmers of America, a national dairy-farmer owned cooperative. Now, a wholly owned subsidiary, Oakhurst continues to operate independently and under the leadership of company President, John Bennett- one of three Bennett family members to stay on in significant roles after the sale of the once family-owned dairy.

  • 2012 -

    Oakhurst receives an Alternative Fuel Vehicles grant from the State of New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. With the help of this grant, the company adds three new hybrid delivery trucks to its fleet. The trucks operate mainly in communities that do not currently meet air quality standards and help Oakhurst to work toward meeting their overall carbon reductions goals.

  • 2012 -

    Oakhurst partners with Simply Green, a family-owned Portsmouth, NH based biofuels company. Simply Green offers sustainable biodiesel blends which mitigate the environmental effects of traditional diesel fuel by utilizing a renewable, less emissive replacement for diesel fuel.

  • 20102010 -

    Oakhurst partners with Maine Standard Biofuels, a Portland, Maine based company that recycles cooking oil from local restaurants and food manufacturers. They strive to be a zero waste stream company, and produce a number of other alternative energy and consumer products from the byproducts created during the biodiesel manufacturing process.

  • 20092009 -

    Oakhurst invests in three new initiatives- purchasing the diary industry's first fuel-saving hybrid delivery truck; equipping 25 of it's semi tractor-trailers with side panel "skirts" to increase fuel efficiency; and installing 216 solar panels on a second company facility in Waterville, Maine to create the largest solar photovoltaic energy system installation in the state.

  • 20082008 -

    Oakhurst invests in energy future by placing 72 solar collectors on site, offsetting 4,400 gallons of #2 fuel oil annually.

  • 2007 -

    Oakhurst chosen for Climate Champion Award by Clean Air Cool Planet.

  • 20062006 -

    90% of Oakhurst's truck fleet converts to bio-diesel fuel, reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 1,332 tons per year, making Oakhurst the nation's largest bio-diesel dairy fleet.

  • 2005 -

    Oakhurst completes its largest plant expansion ever: a $10 million project including a new farm milk receiving area and a new computerized cold storage facility.

  • 2004 -

    Oakhurst signs on to the Governor's Carbon Challenge.

  • 2003 -

    Oakhurst launches a major fund-raising initiative on behalf of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Maine and New Hampshire as part of our pledge to give ten percent of profits to help kids and the environment. The fund raising initiative netted $100,000 for 27 club locations across the two states.

  • 2002 -

    Oakhurst volunteers to participate in the Federal government's new cleanliness and safety program, Hazard and Critical Control Points (HACCP).

  • 2001 -

    Oakhurst launches a year-long celebration of its 80th anniversary as a family-owned and operated dairy for three generations. Now with over 200 employees, the dairy processes and packages 50,000 gallons of milk six days a week.

  • 19971997 -

    Oakhurst becomes the first major dairy company in the U.S. to provide a financial incentive to it's dairy farmers to abstain from using artificial growth hormone and the first to package its milk with a Farmers' Pledge (no growth hormone) seal.

  • 1996 -

    Marathon legends Joan Benoit Samuelson and Bill Rodgers help Oakhurst celebrate the 10th anniversary of the four-mile Oakhurst Milk Run. Oakhurst also receives the "Governor's Award for Excellence in Business".

  • 1993 -

    Oakhurst's processing plant, which has always been highly rated for quality and sanitation, receives its first perfect 100 score from the federal government, the highest rating of any dairy in the Northeast. This achievement is matched in four of the next five inspections!

  • 1992 -

    Oakhurst introduces "Quality Producer Awards", an annual quality-incentive program that rewards dairy farmers for upholding the highest standards of quality.

  • 1989 -

    Oakhurst completes another major expansion, adding a state-of-the art "high-rise" cooler.

  • 1984 -

    Stanley T. Bennett II, Donald's oldest son, becomes Oakhurst's third president; Donald becomes chairman of the board of trustees. Two of Donald's other children also begin new roles: William P. Bennett as vice president of operations; and Althea Bennett Allen as customer service manager.

  • 19731973 -

    Continuing to expand, Oakhurst purchases a building next to the plant that formerly housed the Henley-Kimball auto dealership.

  • 1970 -

    Oakhurst advertises on television for the first time.

  • 19541954 -

    Oakhurst expands its plant to more than three times the original size, creating a production capacity of 40,000 quarts of milk per day.

  • 1953 -

    Donald H. Bennett, Stanley's son, takes over as president.

  • 1940s -

    Oakhurst becomes one of the first businesses in southern Maine to introduce company-paid medical insurance, as well as one of the first companies in the nation to introduce a deferred profit-sharing plan.

  • 1920s-1930s1920s-1930s -

    Oakhurst, starting with two horse-drawn milk wagons, grows steadily, earning a reputation for superior service and fresh, high-quality dairy products.

  • 1921 -

    Stanley T. Bennett buys a dairy in Portland from the Leadbetter family and founds Oakhurst Dairy near a grove of oak trees on Woodfords Street in Portland. Within a few months, Stanley moves the dairy to its present location at 364 Forest Ave. in Portland.