On Oct. 10, 1957, Heritage’s Dairy Stores opened its first location after converting a hoagie shop into a c-store. Now, 50 years later, the chain is still going strong as one of a popular stop for shoppers in the New Jersey area.
Thorofare, N.J.-based chain will celebrate its 50th anniversary of its first store opening tomorrow with a 10am cake-cutting ceremony and giveaways at the Westville Grove, N.J. location, the chain’s original store. Each store then will follow suit on its anniversary date, according to the Gloucester County Times.
Harold H. “Grandpop Skeets” Heritage and his brother, Sam, started the chain after the two inherited 50 acres of land each on both sides of Jessup Road in Thorofare, N.J., the location of the chain’s current headquarters.
During the Great Depression, Skeets needed an additional avenue to earn money and decided that the dairy business was the answer. In 1930, with just one cow, he began serving milk to family, friends and neighbors. Over the course of the next few years, the dairy production and delivery business grew, being manned by family and friends. Eventually, Skeets’ son, Skeets Jr., got into the family business. The father and son team realized dairy sales were on a steady rise and needed a new way to sell it. After much searching and investment, the first Heritage Dairy Store was opened.
Heritage’s made history. It was the first New Jersey store to sell milk in gallon jugs and was one of the state’s first convenience stores.
Since then, the chain has developed into a local name that residents rely on for dairy and convenience needs. The chain is still family-run, with 36 stores across the state that sell milk made from the same original Heritage recipe. The focus of the stores has always been the people they serve.
“Our growth and success is something I couldn’t have visualized,” says Jack Heritage, active in the company since 1971, told the newspaper. “But we’re all about people. We’re in the people business.”