History of VernDale Products

VernDale Products, Inc. was founded in 1958 by LaVerne and Marlene Johnson. Prior to starting the dry milk power plant, Vern, a WWII veteran, was a manager of creamery in Chicago. Marlene, on the other hand, was living at home over her father's creamery in Chicago, (the same one that Vern was managing).

Verne and Marlene Johnson married, and used their life savings, moved their family from Chicago to Detroit and started VernDale Products Inc. The two were 50/50 partners, at a time well before woman’s liberation. The plant began with one dryer. In time, the plant grew.

Later, in the last half of the 1970's VernDale was forced to move off of their founding address on the Detroit riverfront. At odds deciding whether to move or shut down the plant, Vern and Marlene along with their son Dale, decided to relocate at the site of the old Twin Pines dairy plant on Lyndon Street in Detroit.

The large and empty building soon became full as VernDale expanded to include four dryers, and a crew of busy people working to continue VernDale's operation into the next century.