The “Legend-dairy” Washtenaw Dairy Celebrates 85th Birthday
In 1934, Washtenaw Dairy was one of 120 dairies in Ann Arbor that delivered milk to people’s homes. Today, it is the only one left in the city. While there are no more home milk deliveries, the dairy continues to draw crowds and customer loyalty for its ice cream, dairy products and donuts.
Mary Jean Raab owns the Washtenaw Dairy today. Her uncle bought the dairy in 1973. To celebrate and show appreciation for its long-time customers, Mary Jean and her staff will celebrate Washtenaw Dairy’s 85th birthday on July 4 with a street party from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The theme, “We Are Legend-Dairy,” speaks to the dairy’s longstanding place in the heart of Ann Arbor’s community.
People can enjoy food, music, games, dancing and more outside the store at this event. The United Dairy Industry of Michigan (UDIM) will sponsor a “Scoop It Forward” promotion where every 10th customer will get free ice cream on behalf of Michigan dairy farmers. We hope these lucky customers “pay it forward” by treating someone else the next time they enjoy ice cream at Washtenaw Dairy!
The dairy serves dozens of flavors of ice cream and is a favorite stop for locals and out-of-state visitors. Homemade donuts joined the lineup in 1982. They are as popular as the ice cream.
Throughout its history, Washtenaw Dairy has supported the Ann Arbor community in multiple ways. The dairy donates funds and food to local organizations and programs, hires University of Michigan students as employees, and serves as a meeting place for groups young and old. Students across campus dust the sugar off their faces from the free donuts at events!
During a recent visit, Mary Jean shared memorabilia from the dairy’s long history with us, including pictures, customer notes on the wall, and scrapbooks of news articles, letters, photos and other mementos from 1933 to present day.
One of these mementos was a mold used to make strawberry ice cream “rosettes” for UM sorority parties in years past.