Winder celebrates 125 years with name change

Published September 23, 2005 12:01 am
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WEST VALLEY CITY - Winder Dairy, one of Utah's oldest businesses, is expanding its home delivery service, bringing fruits, vegetables, prepared salads and seasonal foods such as turkey and pies to customers' doorsteps.

The switch to a farmer's market on wheels, reflected in its new name, Winder Farms, was announced Thursday during the company's 125th anniversary celebration.

"We are upgrading almost everything, from products to delivery trucks, to better serve our customers," said Mike Winder, vice president of marketing and a member of the sixth generation of Winders to operate the business.

Grant Jensen, a Salt Lake City customer since 1942 - nearly half the time Winder has been in business - welcomed the expanded deliveries. "Change is good," he said.

Company officials said they will buy goods from more than 100 Utah vendors and will be capable of delivering to more than 26,000 customers along the Wasatch Front, in Tooele, Park City and Heber City, and as far south as St. George and Cedar City.

The name change and a new company logo - the latest of more than 30 trademarks used during the past 12 decades - comes on the heels of brand diversification brought to Winder Dairy by two investment companies.

Last year, Dolphin II and Peterson Partners, both Utah-based venture capital firms, formed a partnership with the Winder family. Investors not only provided cash - they also took management positions in the company.

Chief Executive Eric Jacobsen, founder of Dolphin II, whose portfolio includes software development operations, said Winder's product line will be expanded even more in coming months. The plan, he said, is to stay away from artificial additives. Winder's bakery items already contain no preservatives and its milk comes from cows not treated with growth hormones.

The name change isn't the first for the Dairy. In 1889, Mormon pioneer Wilford Woodruff wrote in his diary, "I visited the J.R. Winder Creamery today."

For his part, Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr. remembered that, as a boy, his family's Winder milkman didn't just deliver milk, but also brought "the latest weather and political forecasts, which were always spot on."

Other remembrances were of patriarch John R. Winder, who owned both Jersey cows and a deep, cold well on his Poplar Farm at 2700 S. 300 East. That's where he stored the creamy milk.

In 1880, the Winders began delivering their product in tall cans, scooping the milk into customers' kitchen pans. Glass bottles of "Rich Jersey Milk" were introduced in 1907. The price of a quart of Winder milk in 1918 was 18 cents.

The family switched from horses to a Ford Model T truck in 1915, but when its tires frequently burst, the Winders went back to horse deliveries until 1928.

In 1931, the farm moved from Salt Lake City to its present location at 4400 W. 4100 South.

The family started its bakery operation in 1958, when glass bottles were replaced with polycarbonate containers. Eight years ago, the company began service to southern Utah.

Winder Farms employs more than 175 workers at its headquarters, processing plant and country store in West Valley City, and at satellite offices in St. George, Ogden and Orem.




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