Mississauga, Ont. – Starting Nov. 1, Hewitt’s Dairy in Hagersville, Ont. will be under new ownership.
The company has reached an agreement with Gay Lea Foods, which is acquiring the 127-year-old family owned company. The financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.
“With this acquisition we continue the Ontario tradition of the family farm,” says Paul Vickers, Gay Lea Foods’ chair.
“Hewitt’s Dairy, like our co-operative, began with a farmer providing fresh milk to local families, and expanded its dedication to rural communities over the course of many years.”
Today, Hewitt’s Dairy produces milk, cream, sour cream, cultured beverages, yogurt, and a full range of dairy goat products. Consumers can also find more than 100 flavours of regular ice cream, sugar-free and low-fat ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet and goat ice cream at its popular dairy bar, located just north of Hagersville.
The company also processes dairy for Harmony Organic Dairy Products, as well as being one of Harmony’s main distributors.
“Hewitt’s Dairy and Gay Lea Foods have two strong and rich histories in the province of Ontario,” says Marie Hewitt, Hewitt’s owner and president.
“I know Gay Lea Foods is committed to the dream our family created; to our loyal employees; to our valued customers; to our quality dairy goat producers; and to the community in which we live.”
Gay Lea was founded in 1958 and is Ontario’s largest co-operative with 1,200 members and 835 employees. In 2013, its sales topped $560 million. Gay Lea has seven production facilities across Ontario from which it produces brands such as Gay Lea, Nordica, Ivanhoe and Salerno. This acquisition marks the company’s foray into ice cream production.
TheSpec.com in Hamilton, Ont. reports that Hewitt’s Dairy’s employees took the news of the acquisition well. Their terms of employment are not expected to change.