Brum's Dairy to celebrate 100th anniversary
2018 marks the 100th anniversary of Brum's Dairy. To honour the milestone and thank the community for their ongoing support, Brum's will be hosting a 100th anniversary celebration on August 18th. Pictured here (from left) are dairy bar manager Shauna Wagner with dairy bar staff members Grace Hennessey and Abby McInnes.
Summer without ice cream is like sand without the surf.
There’s something so blissful and nostalgic about sipping on a milkshake or licking an ice cream cone on a hot summer day – that stretches across all generations.
Here in the Ottawa Valley, Brum’s Dairy has been providing residents and visitors with that summertime bliss for the past 100 years.
It was on November 11, 1918, that Henry Brum founded and opened the doors to what would become one of Pembroke’s oldest and most beloved businesses.
Since that historic day, the family business has specialized in distributing milk products while providing area residents with a tasty selection of 32 flavours – including toasted coconut, tiger tail, salted caramel – from their snack bar.
It wasn’t until November 2016, after 98 years of being family-owned and operated, that the Brum family retired and sold the business to Belleville’s Reid’s Dairy.
Despite being under new ownership for the past two years, the business remains the same Brum’s Dairy that the Ottawa Valley has come to know and love.
Many of the same faces have worked at Brum’s Dairy for more than 20 years, and they plan on retiring there.
One of those long-time workers is dairy bar manager Shauna Wagner who has worked at Brum’s Dairy for 29 years and calls it her second family.
A Pembroke native, Wagner’s family happened to be the neighbours of Barry Brum and it was that connection that led to Wagner landing her first job as a Brum’s Dairy ice cream scooper when she was 14 years old.
“It was May of 1989, Barry Brum (a grandson of Henry Brum and the owner of Brum's Dairy at that time) was my neighbour and he yelled over to me one day ‘are you busy tomorrow?’. I thought he wanted me to babysit his kids and I said ‘no’ and he said ‘good, you start tomorrow at 9 a.m.’ I had no clue what he was talking about until the next day and that’s how I got hired here,” said Wagner. “I showed up at 9am Saturday morning and have basically worked here ever since. I started as an ice cream scooper at 14 years of age and now I’ve been the dairy bar manger for the past 15 years. I love working here, I love the Brum family and i cannot say one complaint about the last 29 years that I’ve worked here – it’s been great.”
Along with their loyal staff, Brum’s continues to see the same old (and many new) faces popping into the dairy bar, with some travelling from as far as Florida to visit their favourite summertime hotspot in the Ottawa Valley.
“I see families that come from thousands of miles for the summer or as a Christmas tradition to visit and get ice cream. They may have lived in Pembroke but then moved away to Florida and they still come back to visit every year,” said Wagner.
With 2018 marking the 100th anniversary of Brum’s Dairy, a special community celebration will be held on August 18th to recognize the milestone and acknowledge the community’s longtime support to their neighbourhood dairy bar.
“While November marks the official anniversary, we decided that August would be better as it’s the summertime and we’d like to have the celebration outside,” said Wagner. “We expect we might have over 1000 people attend the celebration. You don’t see many companies around for 100 years producing great quality products, so this is quite a milestone.”
With the event expected to take place from morning until late afternoon, the tentative plans include a petting zoo, face painting, music, games, bouncy castles and free ice cream samples. Members of the Brum family along with the current owners from Reid’s Dairy are also expected to be in attendance.
More details for the event are to follow on the Brum’s Dairy Facebook page.