Last modified on July 13th, 2017 at 4:52 pm
Ever notice the beautiful glass bottles of milk lining the dairy isles of our local grocery stores? The product is courtesy of Danzeisen Dairy, a family-owned farm about two hours away from Tucson in Laveen.
Danzeisen’s family dairy business started over 50 years ago. Neil and Gertrude Viss, grandparents of the current owners, opened the first location at 51st Avenue and Northern Avenue in Phoenix in 1959. They later opened two additional locations in the Phoenix area in 1967. Their grandchild, Kevin Danzeisen, fondly remembers visiting his family in the Arizona sun for the holidays and helping his grandfather on the farm.
“I loved the cows,” Kevin said, “and I loved Arizona. I knew that I wanted to one day run a dairy of my own.”
Kevin went on to attend Fresno State University where he studied Animal Science, and in 2002, he purchased his grandfather’s dairy and renamed it Danzeisen Dairy.
Grocery stores across the state have begun to stock their delicious milk, offered in a wide range of flavors including Arizona Orange, Cold Brew, Root Beer, Chocolate, Strawberry, and Plain (Whole, 2%, 1% and Skim).
Today, Danzeisen provides a range of dairy products including milk, butter, and cream. All of Danzeisen’s products are made with fresh, natural ingredients. For example, the strawberry milk only has three ingredients: strawberry preserves, milk, and beet powder for color.
Keeping natural, Danzeisen still works magic with flavors as nostalgic as the bottles. Arizona Orange milk tastes like a creamsicle, while the Root Beer milk is reminiscent of creamy soda left behind after eating the ice cream out of a root beer float.
In addition, their butter can’t go unmentioned — flavors include Cinnamon Sugar, Rosemary Garlic, and Sweet Cream. Try a pat of the rosemary garlic over a tender grilled steak, or add a dollop of the cinnamon sugar to warm baked sweet potatoes.
Similar to their careful ingredient considerations, Danzeisen also places emphasis on the quality and sustainability of their products. There is an impressive 24-hour cow-to-consumer turnaround, with the milk kept at a consistent 38 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the process (minus a 15 second pasteurization phase). Aside from the milk caps, there is no plastic on the property — the dairy uses glass bottles and containers only.
To encourage community recycling, Danzeisen offers consumers a $2 credit when they return empty glass Danzeisen bottles to the grocery store. This credit can be used to pick up another bottle of milk at a cheaper price. When Danzeisen drops a new shipment of milk off at the store, they pick up the used glass bottles and bring them back to their dairy to thoroughly wash, sanitize, and refill them with fresh milk for the next shipment.
Keeping with the green trend, all water used on the property is filtered, sanitized, and recycled. Compost is shipped to Yuma to aid in crop production.
While it’s clear that the Danzeisen family cares deeply for the environment, it should come as no surprise that they’re also very conscious of the health of their cows. The animals wear pedometers, and every day their step count is scanned as they walk through the gate to come inside for the night. If a cow is found to be below step count standards, she is corralled into a separate pen and inspected for pain and illness.
Additionally, a veterinarian visits them weekly while a nutritionist examines and adjusts their food each month to make sure they’re getting all of the nutrients they need. These are just a few of the many ways that Danzeisen dairies ensure that their animals are getting the best care possible.
Danzeisen Dairy is located at 6014 W. Southern Ave., Laveen, AZ 85739 and can be reached at (623) 478-9494. Store hours are 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday. For more information and to find a store near you that carries Danzeisen Dairy products, visit danzeisendairy.com.