The sweet taste of summer
REED CITY – From Oreo flurries to chili dogs, the Dairy Depot’s menu embodies the spirit of summer eating.
The popular small-town business has been serving hungry people in Reed City for more than 40 years, offering a wide range of food and ice cream favorites.
Eighteen employees work at the Dairy Depot, which is open from 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Sundays.
“I like working with people,” said three-year employee Mary Cooper as she whipped up a malt for a customer.
Open seasonally, the winter months serve as a vacation from work for the shop’s employees. The high school- and college-aged workers go back to school and other workers flock to warmer climates.
Five-year owner Travis Eastlund, 30, spends the seasonal time off of work coaching a local basketball team. He bought the business from its previous owners after working there during his high school years. His father and grandfather also help at the business.
Though the Dairy Depot has changed ownership many times in its history, the mouth-watering flavors have never failed to draw locals to the popular summer hotspot. Picnic tables line the building and a small picnic area sits behind the shop for customers to enjoy their treats in the shade of large trees. Employees say the flurries - a cup of ice cream with chunks of Oreo, cookie dough or other tasty morsels - are the favorite item on the menu.
Along with supplying the locals with sweet treats, the Dairy Depot also supports the community by donating funds to many local organizations.
This month, the Herald Review shines its business spotlight on Dairy Depot LLC, located at 534 S. Chestnut St. in Reed City.
HERALD REVIEW: Give a brief explanation of what your business does or specializes in.
TRAVIS EASTLUND: We are a seasonal business that offers a wide variety of food options as well as ice cream.
What is one thing most people don’t know about your business?
EASTLUND: We are a family-owned business, and our family has lived in Reed City for many years. Son, dad and grandpa all help out with the business.
How does your business give to the community?
EASTLUND: We have given to the Reed City Little League, Reed City Community Education, Reed City Athletic Boosters, Reed City Crossroad Celebration, AMVETS, firefighters, summer reading programs, Susan P. Wheatlake Foundation, area schools, Reed City Area Chamber of Commerce golf outing as well as many benefit fundraisers.
What is an interesting trend you've seen with your company or customers?
EASTLUND: We have many loyal repeat customers who help make our business a success.
What is the best and worst thing about being in the business that you're in?
EASTLUND: Working and owning the business is very rewarding. We try to put out a good product for all of our customers. Our employees are great. They work hard and have fun at the same time. We have two employees who have been working at the Dairy Depot for more than 30 years. Being a seasonal business gives me an opportunity to coach basketball, which is rewarding for me.
Any last comments?
EASTLUND: Without the support from all of our customers and our great staff, we wouldn’t be able to be a success. Our thanks go out to everyone! You make the depot special!