Our history and our humble beginnings!
In 1925, one cow and her calf helped our founder, Thomas Gilbert Lee, form what is now T.G. Lee Dairy (a division of Dean Foods).
Thomas and his wife Elizabeth started T.G. Lee Dairy with 20 acres of land. During the first few months all of his milk was sold at the wholesale level. Later he expanded to door-to-door customers. In the 1930’s, there was nothing easy about loading and delivering milk. It was all done by hand... and back!
In 1934, the dairy’s first high- tech milking parlor was built right next to the family barn. It became a major Orlando attraction with crowds gathering to see the cows milked by machine.
In 1952 T.G. Lee introduces the paper carton. To commemorate T.G. Lee’s 30th anniversary, plastic milk trucks were given out to local children.
In the early 1960’s, the original cow pasture is turned into one of the first air condition malls in the Southeast. T.G. Lee holds an open house for the community to celebrate their 40th anniversary. Visitors looked and saw old bottling machines.
In 1972 McArthur Dairy of South Florida buys T.G. Lee Dairy. Then, in 1980 Dean Foods purchases McArthur Dairy.
In 1992 T.G. Lee becomes the only dairy to bottle their milk in opaque milk jugs and in 1993 T.G. Lee expands their cooler to 30,000 sq. feet.
Today, we’re Central Florida’s largest dairy. Two processing plants, centrally located in Orlando and Orange City. High demand keeps both processing plants operating six days a week, with distribution running 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Ou main plant, in Orlando, processes more than 230,000 gallons of milk per day while the Orange City plant processes 100,000 gallons of milk, juice and drinks per day.
In addition to milk and juice production, T.G. Lee distributes a full line of culture, cream, butter, eggs and Mayfield ice cream throughout Florida.
Our success flows from a commitment of more than 90 years to quality, customer service and community involvement. Recognized as Florida’s hometown dairy, T.G. Lee Dairy continues to grow the sales of both our branded product and our private label business for nationally known companies. However, we measure our success with more than dollars. Today, more than 600 employees contribute to T.G. Lee Dairy’s prosperity and, as a leading employer and manufacturer, T.G. Lee Dairy is committed to supporting the communities that we serve — where our employees and families live, work and play.
Yes, times have changed since the days of hand milking. But T.G. Lee Dairy’s commitment to delivering the highest quality dairy products to consumers remains.