Tasty Butter... and so much more

BUSINESS PROFILE: MILLERVILE CO-OP CREAMERY


By Carol Stender


There’s more to the Millerville Co-op Creamery than the popular butter it produces throughout the year.


The creamery also has artisan foods, lawn and outdoor decor, plus hardware items. And don’t forget its auto repair center and agronomy center.

Deidre Hubbard, Millerville Co-op Creamery Manager, holds a couple packages of their popular butter. Last year, the creamery produced about 32,000 pounds of butter, and they are on pace to eclipse that number this year. Photo by Carol Stender

Millerville Co-op Creamery’s many services are offered to help meet the community’s needs, said Millerville Co-op Creamery Manager Deidre Hubbard. That’s what she likes about the co-op mentality.


“We are working together for the community,” she said.


Millerville, located north of Brandon on County Highway 7, is a farming community nestled in the midst of Minnesota’s lake country. Although small, with a population just over 100 people, it is big in community spirit. The co-op’s auto repair center is a good example.


The cooperative purchased the auto repair business that also sold gasoline, recognizing the business’ importance to the community. The purchase was made in 2012. When it was destroyed by fire five years later, they moved the business to the co-op building.


Today customers can get auto repair services, oil changes, and tires at the business Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Another example is its hardware offerings. As small dairy farmers sold their herds and quit milking, the cooperative sought ways to replace the revenue. The cooperative became True Value Hardware in 2021. Through its hardware department offerings, the cooperative sells hardware, tools, cleaning supplies, dairy and other farming supplies, and much more.


The cooperative is adding more artisan food products this year including locally produced honey and Minnesota made products like Sweet Haven Tonics made in New Ulm. Sweet Haven Tonics are an addition to cocktails or, as their advertisement says, “craft cocktails made simple.”

The Millerville Co-op Creamery is offering more artisan foods including several Minnesota made products and pies from Country Blossom. Country Blossom uses Millerville Co-op Creamery butter in its pies. Above are some of the items in the store -- maple syrup and t-shirts.

Look for the yummy caramels and chocolates and, for area bakers, Millerville Co-op Creamery has Swany White Pancake Mix, milled at the Freeport Swany White Flour Mill.


The Cooperative will also be carrying Country Blossom pies - made with Millerville Co-op Creamery butter, and Rix Mix Seasonings made in Fargo.


The co-op’s store also carries sweatshirts and hoodies, and coolers of ice cream, eggs, and more. And one cooler section is always fully stocked with Millerville Co-op Creamery Butter.


What makes it so special? It’s all in the butter making process, Hubbard said.


The cream is pasteurized for 30 minutes, then it’s chilled overnight before being churned into butter. It takes one person to handle the butter making process, and three to four people to complete the butter cutting and wrapping.


Last year they made 32,000 pounds of butter. This year, they are 30 percent ahead of that pace. The butter is made every other week with around 1,100 pounds made during each batch.


It certainly is popular. It’s not uncommon for someone to buy 100-pounds at a time.


While many swear by the butter for their baking, it is good on everything, Hubbard added. It’s a salted product.


“Up until the last 25-30 years, milk from our members was used to make that butter,” she said.


But, when the separator broke down, the co-op didn’t replace it. That didn’t stop butter production, however. Instead, the cooperative turned to the Land O’Lakes plant in Melrose for their cream needs.


Millerville Co-op continued to purchase milk from its members until 2017 when the members made their own connections with other milk processing plants.


“But we have continued with the butter making process the entire time,” said Hubbard.


It takes three days to complete the entire butter making process. It’s made every two weeks. People can watch the packaging on the Wednesday of their production week through the glass panels that separate the butter production area from the store.


The butter is sold at the creamery’s store and throughout the area from Fargo to Avon, and at an on-farm meat processor. To find a Millerville Co-op Creamery Butter retailer, check out the “Find A Butter Retailer” map at the co-op’s website: millervillecreamery.com, and click on “Our Butter” from the menu.


Millerville Co-op Creamery has partnered with Nutrien Ag Solutions out of Sauk Centre. Two agronomists work with farmers to help with their crop plans, and offer producers their seed, fertilizer and chemical needs. The agronomy services through the Millerville Co-op Creamery are offered to producers in roughly a 40-mile radius of the community, including Battle lake and Clitherall. They also offer manure tank and fertilizer spreader rentals.

The equipment is ready for butter production. The Millerville Co-op Creamery makes butter every two weeks. It’s a three-day process from pasteurizing the milk to churning and packaging.

The cooperative has come a long way since its start in 1929. It was founded by more than 100 local dairy farmers. Butter was churned at the plant from the start.


Millerville Co-op Creamery has had its ups and downs. It survived the decade-long depression years in the 1930s and then World War II.


In 1943, the Brandon Creamery and the Millerville Co-op Creamery combined. The two had conducted business together before they joined, and with the merger, created the company that exists today.


Despite the challenges its faced, the cooperative has persevered and grown as its provided for the area’s needs.


For more information, check out the co-op’s website, millervillecreamery.com and its online store for clothing, Christmas decorations and Rix Mix seasonings. The co-op’s story is featured at the site. The creamery also has a Facebook page that is updated frequently.



This is a paid business profile. If you would like to learn more about promoting your business in the Sr. Perspective with a business profile, call Jim at 320-334-3344.


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