A family business doesn’t see its 150th anniversary without a passionate leader keeping things “mooving” forward.
Sorry, we had to.
Young’s Jersey Dairy near Yellow Springs celebrated this huge milestone this past weekend. The dairy farm began in 1869 when the original red barn was built on what is now Springfield-Xenia Road. Hap Young bought the 60-acre farm and house shortly after the end of World War II. For the next 10 years, Hap and his three sons — Carl, Bob, and Bill — farmed the 60 acres, plus up to 500 additional rented acres. They grew grain, raised hogs and milked cows.
Since then, the business has grown from a modest “milk room” where customers would pay using the honor system, to a Dayton-area destination with more than 500 acres of farming, ice cream and cheese making, a restaurant and year-round family fun.
Young’s Chief Ice Cream Dipper and CEO, Dan Young, son of Bob and Jo Young, was recognized last year with the Ohio Restaurant Association’s Claude F. Morton Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award.
According to a press release, that award is given to one restaurateur who has been a member for more than 10 years and has provided exceptional lifetime service to the restaurant industry and community.
Dan Young was born and raised as an integral part of Young’s operations. He said he has known since high school that he would not part ways with the family business. Today, Young’s Jersey Dairy is one of Dayton’s most beloved traditions thanks to the entire Young family, including Dan.
Dan Young is our Daytonian of the Week.
🐄What are your earliest memories on the farm?
“My early memories are helping feed and care for baby calves in the barn. That was my first responsibility. It taught me how to work — and the importance of being there. You can’t skip work if you are the person feeding the calves!”
🍦What is your favorite part of Young's operations that you are a part of?
“My favorite part is dipping ice cream. Almost everyone getting ice cream is in a good mood! My favorite thing to do at Young’s is be creative— what’s the next flavor of ice cream, the next sandwich, cheese, or new activity to either invent or improve? Doing ‘research’ on flavors of ice cream is fun. Some are amazing, some maybe not so much— but it’s all ice cream. Some of our best-selling flavor ideas have come from our staff or guests over the years— like Cookie Dough and Sea Salty Caramel.”
🚜What does it mean to your family to be celebrating Young's 150th anniversary this year?
“We are grateful we’ve had the support of our community over the past decades. Our guests keep us going. My grandfather, Hap Young, was here to see the start of us inviting folks to our farm — but he would never have imagined what we have been able to create by listening to our guests and figuring out what they would like.”
🍦🧀Would you say there has ever been a time you've eaten so much Young's cheese and ice cream that you grew tired of it?
“Nope. Ice Cream and Cheese is always good.”
💎What has been your experience, growing up in the Dayton-area? Are you happy to have Dayton as the home of Young's operations?
“The Dayton-Springfield area is a wonderful place to do business. For sure we have a good workforce to help us take care of our guests. There are lots of things to do in the area. We have a good reputation for parks, bike paths, museums and many family activities. And after doing all those activities — a couple dips of ice cream is a perfect ending to the day.”
🍦Now that you are celebrating the 150th year, what can Young's fans look forward to in the coming years?
“We are always looking for new things to do — new events, new activities to do on the farm. This year we have added an option to our group & company picnics — Young’s deep-fried breaded cheese curds.
We’re working on an update for the Dairy Store, also, in the next couple of years. The current Dairy Store was built in 1968. We’ve added to it several times, but it just isn’t big enough to take care of our guests and to give them the experience we would like. We are working on plans to make this happen and hope to get underway sometime this year. Stay tuned!”
🍦🚲Finally, what's it like being a part of a 150 year-old family business?
“It’s amazing. Being part of a family business that’s been part of the community for 150 years is great and it makes us try even harder to keep it going! We feel a responsibility to keep Young’s growing and a part of the community. The best example of this (being part of the community) is the Young’s Charity Bike Tour— we’re planning our 17th year of this event in 2019, and have given $1,252,400 to four charities that help improve the lives of people living in the Miami Valley over the past 16 years. Riding a bike and eating ice cream — a perfect balance.”