Oakhurst Dairy Announces its 90th Anniversary as an Independent, Family-Owned Dairy Business
PORTLAND, MAINE — December 21, 2011 — Oakhurst Dairy, the largest dairy in Maine and the largest family-owned, independent dairy in northern New England, announced today it is celebrating 90 years in business.
“Our story is of one of growth, innovation, service and success,” said Bill Bennett, President and CEO, Oakhurst Dairy. “We have been able to remain family-owned and independent while competing against dairies significantly larger than we are because we have a strong brand identity and people know what we stand for and that they can count on us to deliver a high-quality product.”
Oakhurst Dairy was founded in 1921 when milk was transported in glass bottles by two horse drawn wagons along two delivery routes within the Portland City limits. Today, the company processes and packages 130,000 to 150,000 gallons of milk five days a week and distributes multiple dairy products in four states — Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Vermont — to more than 1,500 customers including supermarkets, convenience stores, restaurants and schools.
The Bennett family has owned, managed and operated Oakhurst Dairy for three generations. Today, four members of the family are actively engaged in running the business — William Bennett is President and CEO, John Bennett is Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Althea Bennett McGirr is Director of Customer Service and Consumer Affairs and Jean Bennett Driscoll is Executive Assistant.
Under the Bennett family’s guidance, Oakhurst Dairy not only has maintained a leadership position in the dairy industry, but also has become a valued member of the Northern New England community. The company continues the heritage of community service and environmental stewardship established by its founder, Stanley T. Bennett. Oakhurst Dairy is also recognized as a Maine company committed to doing what is right. Highlights of some of the company’s accomplishments include:
• First major dairy in the United States to reject the use of rBST (recombinant bovine somatotropin) in the production of its milk and put the information on a label in the form of a Farmer’s Pledge: “No Artificial Growth Hormone Used.”
• Commitment to giving back 10% of pretax profits annually to children’s and environmental organizations.
• Reputation as an environmental leader for almost 20 years; pioneer in adopting green initiatives and technologies with many firsts in the dairy industry.
Bennett continued: “As we reflect on the last 90 years as a company, we want to say a special thank you to all of our employees, customers and producers. Without the loyalty of our customers, the dedication of our employees and the commitment to quality by our producers, we could not have grown into the company we are today. As a family, we remain committed to this business and look forward to the next 90 years.”
Oakhurst employs 210 people and sources milk from 70 local Maine dairy farms. The operation continues in the same location, 364 Forest Avenue in Portland, that it has since 1922 and has seen three major expansions. The first in 1953 and the most recent in 2005, which brought the plant to its current 65,000 square feet. The company is currently focused on improving operational efficiency, productivity, and sustainability by reducing energy, electricity, water and solid waste costs and its carbon footprint.