Dairy Maid Dairy, a family-owned processor of milk, juice and fruit drinks in Frederick, has been sold.

Dairy Farmers of America, the nation’s largest dairy farmer-owned milk marketing cooperative, recently bought the business. The cooperative consists of more than 8,000 farm families in 48 states.

Dairy Maid has been owned and operated by the Vona family since 1946 and is led by brothers Jimmy and Jody Vona, who instituted the sale and will continue to manage the company’s day-to-day operations.

“Jody and I both had health issues a few years ago, and we realized if something were to happen to both of us that would affect the ongoing operation of the business, we wanted the business to continue,” Jimmy Vona said.

The transaction will not affect the company’s 110 employees, 75 percent of whom live in Frederick, the Vonas said.

“Everybody stays,” Jody Vona said. “That’s the reason we did it. We did it to protect our employees. The company’s name will not change, and we’re still co-presidents. Everything will stay the same. We want to be able to drive by and see Dairy Maid Dairy on this corner in another 30 years.”

Jimmy Vona said the value of the transaction is private, but he added that the real estate value of the property at 259 E. Seventh St. exceeds $4 million.

The acquisition of Dairy Maid Dairy aligns with Dairy Farmers of America’s strategy to increase its commercial footprint and expand ownership in the fluid and fresh dairy category, DFA President and CEO Rick Smith said in a statement.

“The Vonas have built a solid business and earned a reputation for quality products and superior service and is a business our dairy farmer member owners can be proud of,” Smith said.

The Vonas said they looked at a number of buyers and settled on a farmer-owned cooperative with a focus on marketing their farmers’ milk as opposed to a stock market-driven company or somebody who was naive about the milk business.

“We wanted someone with a proven track record,” Jimmy Vona said.

The Vonas have already hired a general manager, David Staz, to help with the transition. Staz’s family owned a dairy processing plant in Harrisburg, Pa., similar to Dairy Maid Dairy, he said.

Dairy Farmers of America has expanded its commercial investments in the fluid milk and ice cream category in the past couple of years, according to the company. DFA acquired Kemps and Guida’s Dairy, a family-owned business much like Dairy Maid, and now Dairy Maid.

In addition to relying on DFA to pick up their milk and deliver it to milk customers, “these hardworking farm families rely on us to bring them additional value, and one way in which we do that is to invest in plants and products like Dairy Maid,” the company said.

“The member owners and employees of DFA live by the same values that the Vonas and their employees live by: quality, integrity, passion, accountability, community and innovation,” the company said. “Like the Vonas and their employees, we are committed to producing quality dairy products for consumers to enjoy for years to come.

“We look forward to working with Jimmy and Jody Vona, who have agreed to continue to direct the day-to-day operations of Dairy Maid. We are pleased to be able to retain their excellent employee base and are committed to continuing to ensure the same quality product and service is produced at Dairy Maid. Lastly, we look forward to being good partners with the community of Frederick.”

Follow Ike Wilson on Twitter: @ikewilson99.

(11) comments

wmpratt2010

"Dairy Maid Dairy sold; 110 employees not affected"

LOL yea, today only.

president8444

Great self employed, hiring too. Keep business here, a help io the city.Perfect location no dirt as was Frederick Iron and Steel. A business local.

save1more4jesus

Wishing the best for all, especially the 110 employees (which may mean at least 300 people would be affected).

quemzeee2

Been here long enough and involved enough to know history of this area and how things worked. I also listen . I Listen to the folks next door who have and had lived there for many many years. I also listened to the folks who bought there under a market that has substantialy declined due in part to the dairy tearing down buildings that addded to the neighborrhood. I listen.
No one said move out of the city, just leave a neighborhood. And by the way, these two guys knew full well what is comming down the line after E-Street Rising comes into swing. They would be asked to leave. Which I am sure the new purchasers have little knowlege of.
I listen, I listen to the former owners and there lack of concern over everything except there new winnebagos.

birkle

I see you lack a fundamental understanding of business practices. If they "are asked to leave" when E-Street Rising is completed, I seriously doubt they will pack up and move out. If they do decide to pack up, they will do so because developers will pay them enough $ to sell, which means they will close down and the new owners will move production to another facility. So, what you and your neighbors will get instead of the dairy is a new development, likley a mixed use with apartments/condos. If you think the new owners did not take this possibility into account (if indeed it is a possibility), then I have some water-front propert to sell you in Nevada.

Dairy Maid has been there a long time. If you moved in there after they were there, you really don't have much room for bellyaching.

joelp77440

That place has been there for many, many years. The neighbors new what they were moving next to.

I live in Spring Ridge next to the airport. Many of my neighbors what that place shut down and can't understand how an airport could be so close to a development. (1) That airport has been there longer than most or your parents and grandparents have been alive. (2) It was there before you moved in and you knew it would be there after you moved there. I hate crybabies.

Sanker

Suggestion: learn the difference between "their," "there," and "they're." It's not that hard.

Sanker

Sorry, reply was intended here: Suggestion: learn the difference between "their," "there," and "they're." It's not that hard.

backroomfrederick

Not often a Frederick business can sell, maintain it's vision and employees. Business in the center with development spiraling out on a 'need' basis is how successful towns grew. Sprawl in Monrovia, Urbana, Walkersville and Jefferson with job seekers looking inwards creates disappointment and 270 traffic jams. More local companies like Dairy Maid, whatever your beef, should be Frederick's bread and butter.

birkle

Quemzee2 - Just wondering - how long have you lived in that neighborhood? Where you there before the plant was built?

You do realize that the plant would not be moved out of the city - it would be torn down and closed down, putting 110 employees out of work.

quemzeee2

Well, I am sorry to say some of us are not unhappy about there move. Remember the historical house next to the plant that the "brothers" just had to have torn down for an addition to the plant, That house was torn down, nothing built .
Remember the push they did to run the walls of the plant right up to the edge of the property superceeding other aceptable designs, The entire neighboorhood came out agains that.
We need the plant to move out of the city.
The only reason they dumpled the buissness was due to East Street Rising developments which in turn would actualy force them to do something for the comunity.
sorry guys, no one will miss your attitudes towards Frederick, You guys are the Duk E Ro of the bussiness.

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