Young’s history begins in 1869 when relatives of the Young Family built the red barn. 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.
1951 Bob and Bill Young on Oliver Tractors (that we still use today!!)
1956 Jo and Dan Young in field with Cows
In 1958, the Young Family decided to try to sell our Jersey milk directly to the public. The first sales room was a modest operation. We built a 10′ by 10′ room onto the end of the milk room. The equipment was also modest – some glass jugs, a refrigerator, a cash drawer, and the honor system. The customer would drive up, open the refrigerator, get his gallon of milk, leave an empty jug and the money, and drive away.
There was a market for farm fresh milk, so in 1960, we built and opened our first real dairy store. We started dipping ice cream in this store. We also added other dairy products, like cheese, and snack foods. This building is attached to the big red barn and is where we make our ice cream today.
We added onto this building twice over the next 8 years. In 1966 we added a small bakery. By 1968, we were running out of room. We decided to start over in another building. We built the first part of the red restaurant building in 1968 and moved everything except the bakery production equipment over to the new building.
Adding Family Fun Over the Years
We built the first part of our Dairy Store in 1968. We did this to have room to add a line of baked goods and sandwiches to our menu. We located the bakery in the old store. The bakery complimented the ice cream part of our business, especially in the winter months.
By 1972 we needed more room. We doubled the size of the new store building and moved the bakery production facilities over to it. We used the old store building for a variety of things. Today it is where we make all of our homemade ice cream.
1980 Aerial View of the 4th Annual Fall Farm Festival
Between 1972 and 1990 we have added additional parking, more seating for the restaurant, and expanded the kitchen area to keep up with the increased demand for sandwiches and meals. Our latest big addition to our restaurant was in the spring of 1990 when we doubled our inside seating capacity and added a meeting room.
In 1993, we added the first activity at Udders & Putters ®– an 18 hole, farm theme miniature golf course. 1995 marked the first year for our driving range. 1996 saw the addition of a state of the art 9 position batting cage, which features softball and hardball pitching machines.
We opened a new full service restaurant, The Golden Jersey Inn in 1998. This beautiful timber frame building restaurant features great country style food with a generous helping of friendly service.
In 1999 we built Barnabe’s Walnut Grove, a perfect place to have a group picnic, family reunion, class reunion, company picnic or any other function. Located just south of our popular Udders & Putters area, our Barnabe’s Walnut Grove can easily serve groups with our homecooked meals and delicious homemade Ice Cream from 50 to 3500!
We built a new 18 hole miniature golf course in 2000 to keep up with the demand of challenging miniature golf and our picnic customers. Our courses are open year-round (even in the snow, if you are that interested in playing mini-golf!)
More family fun things to do? Cowvins Corny Maze – which opens each year in late August and runs every weekend until the end of October – a fun trip through a maze in one of our cornfields, complete with a wagon ride to and from the Maze. Pick Your Own Pumpkins – we plant about 15-20 acres each year of pumpkins small to large, and everything in-between! You choose the perfect pumpkin for you out of the thousands in the field. Pick Your Own Pumpkins includes a wagon ride to and from the pumpkin patch.
We added Cowvin’s Fast Slide in 2008 – a 30’ slide with a couple of bumps on the way down. Lots of fun for children and adults (minimum height of 42”). Cowvin’s Kiddie Corral is our latest addition in fun. Cowvin’s Kiddie Corral is designed for our younger Guests and features a cow theme bounce-house, little tractors that can be pedaled around a wooden track, a corn pit (instead of sand pit) to play in, little slides, hay bales, a ‘cow’ to milk and more. Cowvin’s Kiddie Corral is open on weekend starting in late April, then daily during the summer. When schools starts again in the fall, the hours are on weekends until late October.
We started making Young’s Farmstead Cheese in July 2009. We are using only milk from our herd of Jersey cows to make the cheese. We make Cheddar, Colby, Baby Swiss, Jersey Jack, PepperJack and Fresh Cheddar Curds. We sell several types and ages of Cheddar cheese – Jersey Girl is mild cheddar, Red Barn Cheddar is a little older and more medium cheddar in taste, Toreador the Ambassador Cheddar is our oldest cheddar (until the end of 2011) and is aged about 12-18 months. New York Sharp Cheddar and Garlic Cheddar round out our cheddar cheeses. In August of 2010, we started smoking Cheddar and Baby Swiss cheeses in natural apple wood smoke.
Our best selling cheese is our fresh cheddar curds. We make many flavors of this cheese – Garlic, Italian, Dill, Cajun, Plain, Horseradish & Bacon and Ranch. The favorite of our Guests is the Deep Fried Cheddar Curds we sell as a side choice at both our restaurants. Delicious!
In 2010, approximately 1,120,000 Customers visited Young’s Jersey Dairy.
Barnabe, Cowtherine, Cafleen & Cowvin, our Cow Family
Around 1990 we decided that we needed a mascot. And what better mascot to have than a cow? We then thought one cow might be lonely, so we started discussing the possibility of a family of cows.
Dan Young (Chief Ice Cream Dipper and CEO of Young’s Dairy) started thinking at home about the idea of a family of cows and mentioned something to his wife, Cathy about helping come up with the idea.
One of Cathy’s friends had a husband, Dave Gullett who did art work on the side and brought the idea up to him. He designed a 4 cow family, a dad, mom, teen daughter & baby son.
After we had a picture of our cow family, we put it to our customers to name them. We named Cowtherine after one of the foremothers of the cow family, Cathy Young. The rest of the family was Barnabe (father), Cafleen (teen daughter) and Cowvin (the baby).
Our Fabulous Guests
Our Guests have always been great to us. Our local Guests live within a three mile radius of the farm. They typically have been coming to Young’s on a regular basis almost from the very beginning. Our local Guests have always been the backbone of Young’s. They visit us frequently, and they never hesitate to tell us when they have an idea for us to use to improve our service.
The second kind of Young’s Guests lives farther away. We get about 70% of our Guests from places like Xenia, Fairborn, Beavercreek, Springfield, Huber Heights, Dayton, Enon, and Cedarville. We even have many Guests who visit us from the Columbus and Cincinnati areas several times a year. These Customers usually don’t visit us as often as the local Guests. They like to come to Young’s with their family to visit the farm, pet the goats, play a game of miniature golf, have some homemade ice cream, and relax. They like to experience our friendly, farm country atmosphere.
Young’s attracts mostly families. That is what we have designed everything here for — family fun. Parents and grandparents love to bring children and friends to the farm and visit. We will always focus on families as our Guests.
The Young’s Tradition – Family Entertainment
Our Service Theme is “We Create Fun for Our Guests by Delivering the Best Customer Service, Everyday, with the Finest in Quality Products, in a Clean, Safe, and Entertaining Place.” We keep this in mind when we do anything at Young’s. Creating fun for our Guests — families — is why we are here.
While we sell a lot of food and ice cream, our main product is fun, education, and entertainment. We know we have to give our Guests a reason to visit Young’s. There are hundreds of places to get a meal or a dip of ice cream. We have to do a better job on service and quality to keep our Guests happy and coming back.