Elmhurst Dairy was founded in Queens and has operated within the borough since its inception in 1919.
Two brothers, Max and Arthur Schwartz, were the children of Eastern European immigrants that came from a long line of dairy farmers. They grew up on a 40 acre dairy farm founded at the turn of the century in the Middle Village area of Queens. Their father started the farm by purchasing 7 cows from the west side of Manhattan, which he walked back to Queens by crossing the newly constructed Williamsburg Bridge.
By the 1920s, the farm had grown to over one hundred cows, and the brothers began their dairy business by hand-filling bottles of cream in their barn. Products were delivered to neighborhoods in Brooklyn in a single delivery truck filled with blocks of ice to keep the product cool.
Building on these humble beginnings, the brothers established their current manufacturing facility in Jamaica, NY in 1940. Initially in one building for filling glass bottles, the facility has grown over the last 70 years to cover 15 acres of property with six major buildings, including one for creating our own plastic gallons.
Over 300 milk delivery vehicles owned by independent dealers operate from the Elmhurst Dairy plant, and the grounds are constantly bustling with the movement of milk trucks. We estimate that more than 1,000 people work at the facility for various sellers and distributors, with 240 directly employed by Elmhurst Dairy.
Max passed the family company onto his son, Henry Schwartz, who grew up in the milk business and is the current owner and operator of Elmhurst Dairy. In 1970, there were approximately 30 milk processing facilities in New York City, and today Elmhurst Dairy is the only plant remaining.