Bub was the owner and operator of Dairybest Dairy on the south/west corner of Dease and May Streets in Fort William from July of 1947. Bub and his brother started with their father at the Kellough Brothers dairy. After being in the armed forces during WWII, and by 1946 they had decided to start their own dairy. They purchased the property at the corner of May and Dease Streets and by 1947, the plant was in full operation. The business also contained an ice cream parlour in the front that sold directly to walk in customers.
This is how the first Dairybest Logo looked and the next picture is as the building stands today on the Dease/May corner which now houses "Beebe Mechanical Systems".
Bub picked up the milk himself in milk cans from dairy farmers in the Slate River Valley area. It was bottled originally in the blue printed bottles in half and full pints as well as quarts. I remember riding bicycles with my friends to Uncle Bub's dairy bar for a "free" half pint of chocolate or cherry milk on a hot summer day. Regular cream and whipped cream were also bottled there. Most of the daily delivery was done in Fort William, however Dairybest did have some Port Arthur customers.
Like everything else, changes had started in the dairy retail industry and Uncle Bub was always an innovator and had to be one of the first to start something new. Bub started using the newer rectangular glass bottles with the smaller neck. The above milk topper with the skirt around it was the one used for those bottles. Printed cardboard cartons also came in at this time...a half gallon one is shown below.
Here is an annual give-away by the dairy for phone numbers.
By 1960 Dairybest was producing large numbers of other products such as "Frozen Chilly Willy", sold in wax dixie cups as shown above, as well as skimmed milk, homogenized milk, light, heavy and salad cream, cottage cheese, chocolate and cherry milks, whipping cream egg nog and a variety of ice creams. They even got into packaging their own juices such as strawberry and raspberry and "Beep". Remember "Beep" orange juice?
By 1964 milk cans were no longer used, so Uncle Bub purchased a shiny new "White" tanker truck, one of the first of its kind here at The Lakehead.
In 1968 Bub opened the first "Cow Palace" store on North May Street and seven more stores were opened after that. The first black and white photo here is Uncle Bub parked in front of the newly opened "Cow Palace" store with his shiny stainless steel tank truck. The photo is how the same building looks today as 'Dusty's Car Care Centre". Most of the Dairybest products were sold through the eight Cow Palace stores in Fort William and Port Arthur. Bub was also one of the first dairy's to use the plastic jugs with the red handles and also one of the first to use plastic bag milk that we still see in supermarkets today.
By 1978 Uncle Bub was ready to retire and sold his dairy business and Cow Palace stores to the Gleesons, who were by then operating Kellough Brothers Dairy. Bub was careful to have most of his blue silk-screened glass bottles destroyed so no other dairys could used them, making them some of the most sought after bottles by collectors today.
Here is a half gallon carton with the Dairybest Logo on one side, their "commitment to quality" on another side and most of their "product line" shown on the third side.
Here is a dixie-cup type lid for stawberry ice cream sold by Dairybest Products Limited and finally how a phone book ad looked in the 1960's.
Thanks to the Kellough family for a lifetime of friendship and memories, and thanks to Dave Maclean and Wayne Pettit for their book "Milk Bottles & Dairies of Thunder Bay & Area 1906-2003", which is great reading and can be found at our local museum on Donald Street.
Click on pictures to enlarge!