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Meet The Locals: Mauel’s Dairy

Mauel’s Dairy is best known for delicious ice cream, but their history has a lot more to it than just ice cream production. Henry “Pa” Mauel founded the business in 1919 taking after his father, William Mauel, who was a cheese-maker. Using what he had learned over the years, he began making cheese at their plant in Owen, Wisconsin, about 70 miles east of Menomonie along I-94.

Once freezers became more widely available and affordable, Henry Mauel Sr. took his cheese-making knowledge plus his education from the University of Wisconsin and began making ice cream at the plant, eventually expanding into bottled milk as well. Fast forward to the 1960s, Henry Mauel Sr. made the decision to sell his interest in the business to his son, Henry Mauel Jr., but he continued to work until he turned 87 years old in 1981.

In 1960, Henry Mauel Jr. took over management of Mauel’s Dairy and built a new plant to focus their production on ice cream. As business and demand continued to grow in western Wisconsin, they began door-to-door sales of ice cream and distributing other dairy products from local farmers. In addition to door-to-door sales, the business’s growth allowed the family to add a small retail store to the plant that his wife ran for many years and is still helping out where she can at 93 years of age.

When Henry Mauel Jr. was ready to “retire” in 1993, he sold his shares in the company to his son, John Mauel, who continues to carry on the family business today. John has since expanded the business even more by adding delivery to retail stores in the surrounding nine counties as well as participating in fundraising and events; their fundraising program gives local organizations and teams the opportunity to host a Mauel’s ice cream fundraiser.

Although most well-known for their hand-dipped ice cream cones and novelty frozen treats, they now also carry local dairy brands at their retail store in Owen as distribution has shifted to natural and organic dairy products over the years. Some of those include Westby Cooperative Creamery products, Weber Farms milk, and Wisconsin cheeses.

Today, you can find Mauel’s Dairy ice cream at Menomonie Market Food Co-op and many other retail locations in western Wisconsin. Look for their chocolate and vanilla flavors in our frozen desserts section in Aisle 6 and online at SHOP.MMFC.COOP, and check out their other delicious flavors at MAUELS.COM.

This article was originally published in the July/August 2021 issue of our bi-monthly newsletter, The Morsel. If you’d like to read more stories like this one and stay up to date on the latest co-op news and events, pick up a print copy in-store on your next grocery run or find more news on our website here.

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