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Oberweis Dairy

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Oberweis Dairy, Inc.
Company typePrivate
IndustryDairy, Restaurant, home delivery
Founded1927; 97 years ago (1927)
Headquarters951 Ice Cream Dr., ,
United States
Number of locations
Area served
Key people
Jim Oberweis, Chairman
Joe Kirby, CEO
ProductsDairy and fast food

Oberweis Dairy, headquartered in North Aurora, Illinois, is the parent company of several dairy-related and fast food restaurant operations in the midwest region of the United States.[1] Its businesses include a home delivery service available in parts of Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Michigan, North Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin, which delivers traditional dairy products, including milk, ice cream, cheese, and yogurt, as well as bacon and seasonal products.

The businesses also include a chain of corporate-owned "Dairy and Ice Cream Stores", in the Chicago area,[1] which sell many of the same products as the home delivery service, a distribution service which allows for some of their products (such as milk) to be available in regional supermarkets, and also includes a franchise service,[2] which expanded the "Dairy and Ice Cream Stores" into Wisconsin, Indiana, Missouri, and Michigan after 2004.

In 2012, Oberweis also began a new franchise of high-end, fast food hamburger restaurants named "That Burger Joint".[3] The firm is privately owned by the Oberweis family.[4]


In 1915, Peter J. Oberweis began selling his excess milk to his neighbors in Kane County, Illinois; the business became full-time in 1927.[5][6] According to the Dairy's website, the family's farm was off of Molitor Road, in Aurora, Illinois. The family used a horse and milk float to deliver milk to their neighbors, beginning in 1927, after Peter J. Oberweis invested in half of the business of the Big Woods Dairy.[7]

During the Great Depression, Peter's son Joe dropped out of high school to help run the business.[8] The business continued in the family, with Joe running the business through the 1950s.

Current owner, Jim Oberweis, purchased the company from his brother in 1986 and named his son, Joe, CEO in 2007.[9][10][11] In October 2022, Oberweis Dairy purchased milk from cooperatives instead of directly from family farm patrons.[5]

In April 2024, Oberweis Dairy filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.[12][13] In May 2024, the Hoffman Family of Companies, a private equity firm based in Winnetka, Illinois, won a bid to purchase Oberweis Dairy out of bankruptcy. The new owners have plans to keep the company in operation as well as potentially expanding the brand.[14]

Home delivery[edit]

In 1927, the company's founder began a home delivery service, which has continued since that time. Delivery has been in glass bottles, in the same way milk was delivered throughout the United States in the 1960s. A modern smartphone app supports tracking and timing deliveries.[15]

Dairy and Ice Cream Stores[edit]

In 1951, the Dairy and Ice Cream Stores began operation. The company currently has locations, both corporate-owned and franchised, throughout Chicago, its suburbs, northwest Indiana, around St. Louis, Missouri, near Indianapolis, Indiana, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and near Detroit, Michigan. Some projects for the retail stores were done on a trial basis at the company's corporate office in North Aurora (which also includes a retail store) before being put into place at other locations, such as the stores' drive-through service, and the lunch/sandwich program, which began in 2004 and ended in July 2006. In 2012, Oberweis said that each dairy store generates between $1.25 million and $1.75 million per year.[16]

That Burger Joint[edit]

In 2012, Oberweis opened their first quick-service hamburger restaurant, named That Burger Joint, intended to expand as a chain and compete directly with Five Guys.[3][17]

Woodgrain Neapolitan Pizzeria[edit]

In 2017, Oberweis Dairy acquired Woodgrain Neapolitan Pizzeria, a pizzeria serving custom made personal pizzas in minutes.[18]

Health stance[edit]

Oberweis Dairy does not use or sell milk from cows treated with rBGH, recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone, despite United States Food and Drug Administration statements that the hormone does not have any detrimental effects on humans.[6] Oberweis Dairy states their reason for the decision is to successfully fulfill their motto, which is to "provide simply the best people, products, and places." Oberweis requires all of their dairy farmers to sign an annual agreement to refrain from using rBGH.[19] Dairy cow diets contain corn and corn silage. Soy meal is used as a protein source. Haylage (chopped hay) and baled (dry) hay are also provided as feed. Vitamins and minerals are added to balance their diets. 90% of dairy herds graze when weather permits.[19]


  1. ^ a b Weldon, David (August 22, 2017). "How Oberweis Dairy used analytics to boost sales and win customers". Information Management. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  2. ^ Franchise Times. Restaurant Finance Corporation. 2005. p. 38. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Oberweis launches burger joint". Crain's Chicago Business. October 25, 2012. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  4. ^ Slowik, Ted (March 22, 2016). "New award needed to honor most effective Illinois political ads". Daily Southtown. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  5. ^ a b Smart, Stacey (2022-11-12). "Oberweis Dairy lets go of its farmer patrons". Dairy Star. Retrieved 2024-04-11.
  6. ^ a b Glatz, Julianne (2007-04-18). "A better glass of milk". Illinois Times. Retrieved 2024-04-11.
  7. ^ "How It All Began". oberweis.com. Archived from the original on 29 March 2016. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  8. ^ Lamb, Caitlin (2022-08-25). "The Untold Truth Of Oberweis Dairy". Mashed. Retrieved 2024-04-11.
  9. ^ Sterrett, David (January 9, 2010). "Jim Oberweis gets back to business at family dairy". Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  10. ^ "Business Profile | Joe Oberweis". Naperville magazine. 2011-12-01. Retrieved 2024-04-11.
  11. ^ "International Dairy Foods Association". www.idfa.org. Retrieved 2024-04-11.
  12. ^ "Oberweis Dairy files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy". BKData. April 12, 2024. Retrieved April 13, 2024.
  13. ^ By ABC7 Chicago Digital Team (April 13, 2024). "OBERWEIS DAIRY FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY PROTECTION; NORTH AURORA COMPANY OWES AT LEAST $4M: DOCUMENTS". ABC 7. Retrieved April 14, 2024.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  14. ^ By ABC7 Chicago Digital Team (May 30, 2024). "Winnetka-based company wins bid to purchase Oberweis Dairy after bankruptcy protection filing". ABC 7. Retrieved May 30, 2024.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  15. ^ Anderson, Leslie (September 24, 2015). "Does Your Business Have A Culture Of Innovation?". Forbes. Retrieved 2016-03-28.
  16. ^ "Skokie Lands Sweet Prize in New Oberweis Dairy". NBC5 Chicago. 2012. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  17. ^ Manchir, Michelle (November 8, 2012). "Oberweis Dairy to move in Glen Ellyn and join 2 new eateries". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2017-12-28.
  18. ^ Gaitan, Daniel (June 6, 2018). "Algonquin officials approve plans for Oberweis complex on Randall Road". Northwest Herald. Archived from the original on 2019-09-15. Retrieved 2019-09-07.
  19. ^ a b "Product FAQ". oberweis.com. Archived from the original on 22 March 2016. Retrieved 28 March 2016.

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