LuVel Dairy sold to Illinois company

Published 4:51 pm Friday, March 2, 2007

LuVel Dairy Products Inc., a family owned dairy in Kosciusko that has produced milk and ice cream in Mississippi for 88 years, has been sold to Prairie Farms Dairy Inc., of Carlinville, Ill.

Terms of the sale were not released Thursday.

LuVel President Jimmy Briscoe announced the sale Wednesday.

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“This will be a good business deal for Kosciusko and the employees of Luvel,” Briscoe said in a statement.

Briscoe said he and his brother, Richard, who is LuVel’s vice president, will remain at the helm of the Kosciusko operation.

Briscoe said the LuVell name will also remain on products from the Kosciusko plant.

Ed Mullins, executive vice president and CEO of Prairie Farms, said both companies have a long history of producing high quality dairy products.

“The acquisition of LuVel Dairy allows our companies the ability to continue our growth in new markets,” Mullins said in a statement.

LuVel opened in July 10, 1919, as the Kosciusko Creamery. In 1930, the creamery’s owner, Z.O. Graham, held a contest to give the company a new name. The name chosen was a combination of names from Graham’s daughter, Lucinda, and his wife, Velma — LuVel.

In 1979, Jack Briscoe and other investors bought LuVel.

LuVel currently has more than 225 employees and operates about 100 routes or distributors in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas and Tennessee.

Prairie Farms is a cooperative that is owned by 773 member farms throughout the South and Midwest. Its products come from 36 plants and subsidiary companies in Missouri, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Oklahoma, Ohio, Arkansas, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, Iowa, Michigan and Nebraska.

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