Twin Pines Farm Diary was an employee owned company which began operation before World War II. Without transportation to get to grocery stores, the primary method that most families obtained basic food stuffs was by a delivery service, such as Twin Pines.
The company consisted of three parts – processing, pick-up, and delivery.
The processing plant on Outer Drive in Detroit was owned and operated by its employees. The workers processed the milk into more than just milk to drink. They bottled cream and packaged cottage cheese, sour cream and ice cream. They also purchased and sold other food staples such as bread, eggs, potato chips and orange juice. They also sold seasonal products such as eggnog.
The pick-up drivers, such as Almont’s William Gottschalk, owned their own trucks. They initially collected the farmers using numbered milk cans. Each farmer would have cans which could be identified by the numbers. The farmer’s payment would be influenced by the cream content of the milk.
Each pick-up day, the driver would drop-off empty cans and pick-up the full ones. This was back breaking work – both at the farm and at the processing plant.
The driver would collect the milk from the farmers and then deliver the milk to the processing plant. After emptying their cans, the cans were cleaned and returned to the driver. The driver could then go home to do it again the next day. Eventually the cans were replaced by refrigerated milk tankers, which made the job much easier.
Like the pick-up driver, the delivery drivers, like Almont’s Howard Boomer, owned their own trucks. The delivery drivers had set routes. Howard Boomer had two routes – one for Almont and another for Allenton/Berville. Deliveries to Almont were done on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The deliveries to Allenton/Berville were done on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
Howard’s customers had standing orders but could alter the order by speaking with Howard or leaving a note in one of the returned glass milk bottles. Each day, Howard went to a pick-up station, which was initially in Utica but later was located at “Lovell’s” in Almont. He would pick-up his order and made the adjustments as needed.
Twin Pines Farm Dairy was so successful that they sponsored their own children’s television show, “Milky’s Party Time” featuring “Milky the Clown” from 1950 until 1967. However, with the dramatic increase in two car families and small convenience stores, the niche for Twin Pines eventually vanished and the company slowly folded from the late 1960s to the early 1970s