Update: Midwest dairy company pulls out of Richmond, hands delivery over to local firm

A lone delivery truck is all that remains of the company at Oberweis’ former warehouse in Chesterfield County. (Photos by Mike Platania)

A Midwest company’s bid to tap into the nostalgia of the milkman has come to an end in the Richmond market, but its local presence hasn’t totally dried up.

Oberweis Dairy, the Illinois-based firm that expanded into the region in mid-2017 with a warehouse in Chesterfield and fleet of milk delivery trucks, has ceased operations here.

A company employee said its final deliveries in Richmond were made Jan. 18.

Reached Thursday morning, CEO Joe Oberweis said its Richmond-area venture wasn’t growing as expected, so the company decided to shut down the 12,000-square-foot warehouse it leased at 2947-2951 Oak Lake Blvd., while looking for a way to keep a presence here.

Oberweis launched operations in the Richmond area in 2017.

It did just that earlier this week, when Oberweis struck a deal to have its products picked up by Seasonal Roots, a locally based online farmer’s market.

“For us the reality is that the (Richmond) market wasn’t growing fast enough, and we have so many markets we’re trying to build that it didn’t make sense for us to keep going, especially when there’s a company like Seasonal Roots who I think is going to be great to work with,” Oberweis said, adding that the company is still operating in Hampton Roads.

Seasonal Roots owner Duane Slyder said the deal included Oberweis’ email list of local customers.

As for its now vacated Chesterfield facility, Oberweis is looking to sublease the space, said Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer broker Gregg Beck, who handles leasing at the facility with colleague Scott Douglas.

Other regional dairy companies with a presence in Richmond include Franklin County-based Homestead Creamery, which distributes to about a dozen local grocery stores.

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