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HISTORY LIVES: Sommer Maid Creamery


• The Doylestown Creamery, a dairy and milk business, was established in 1910 by Asher Lear on the north side of Union Street between Broad and North Main streets.

• George Sommer (1891–1941) purchased the creamery in 1918 and gave it his name, turning it into a prosperous butter and cheese business. He installed a new 1,000-pound churn to increase output of butter to 2,000 pounds per day and an ice box to store as much as three carloads of butter, using tractor-trailer trucks to deliver his products to Philadelphia, Allentown, Newark, Atlantic City and beyond.

• Upon Sommer’s death in 1941, Harvey Umholtz (1895–1957), an employee for 25 years, purchased the business in 1943. It was the largest butter and cheese plant in the Philadelphia area as well as an egg distributor. The operation was moved to an expanded facility on Swamp Road in 1955, now the site of Faulkner Honda.

• State Brand Creameries Inc. of Mason City, IA, absorbed Sommer Maid after Umholtz’s death and continued production of dairy products with increased automation and diversification of products through 1969.

• Frank Sexton purchased the company ca. 1970, selling the plant site to Keenan Mercedes. Family owned and operated, the business moved to Pipersville, functioning as one of the “leading dairy suppliers throughout the east coast (with) weekly services spanning the entire east coast from Maine to Florida.”

• In 2022, Honor Foods of Philadelphia, a food service redistribution company, agreed to purchase Sommer Maid Creamery. Their catalog lists Sommer Maid brand daily products that are still packed and widely distributed including assorted cheeses, cream, sour cream, margarine, and butter.

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