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03/31/2021

Rutter's Dairy Celebrates 100 Years in Business

Today, the retailer's dairy produces more than 100 SKUs in the fluid milk, tea and juice segments.
Rutter's logo

YORK, Pa. — While Rutter's is known to most consumers today as a regional convenience store chain, the company counts back 100 years to the early days of Rutter's Dairy.

Going even further, Rutter's traces its roots to 167 acres in York County that the great grandson of William Penn, Springetts Penn, deeded to Andrew Rutter in 1747. Fast forward to 1921, George and Bud Rutter began selling milk from the family farm and Rutter's Dairy — then known as Crystal Spring Dairy — was established, according to Dairy Foods.

From its beginnings as home delivery business, Rutter's entered the convenience store space in the late 1960s before it fully pivoted to a retail player in the 1990s, Todd Rutter, president and third-generation Rutter family member, told the news outlet.

"I think a major turning point would have been the change in focus from home delivery to retail and wholesale customers," Rutter notes.

Today, Rutter's Dairy produces more than 100 SKUs in the fluid milk, tea and juice segments, Rick Miller, sales and marketing director, told Dairy Foods.

Among its popular beverages is Chocolate Peanut Butter milk, which was originally as a limited-time offer before becoming a permanent item in the cooler.

"We could not make [the Chocolate Peanut Butter milk] fast enough. And then we ran out of ingredients and labels for our limited-time offer, and people were very sad," Miller said. "So we retooled, and six months later, we brought it out as an everyday standard item in two sizes."

Rutter's chocolate milk is another favorite with its customers.

In addition to serving its Rutter's convenience stores, the dairy supplies products to other c-stores, schools, nursing homes, foodservice outlets and colleges, the report noted.

A key aspect of Rutter's Dairy operation is its local milk source and the freshness of its products, Miller said.

As it hits the century mark, York-based Rutter's operates 79 c-stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia. It is also gearing up for aggressive growth in 2021, with plans to spend more than $100 million allocated to new-builds and remodeling existing convenience stores, as Convenience Store News previously reported.

It opened its first ground-up build for 2021 on March 16 in Gap, Pa.