Broguiere's Is Re-Reopening. Here's A Love Letter To The Nearly 100-Year Old Dairy
In May 2019, Broguiere's Farm Fresh Dairy, a Montebello favorite for nearly a century, announced it would be closing. Owner Ray Broguiere told LAist that he blamed the closing on California regulations that have made it hard for small businesses like his to stay afloat.
In late June, Broguiere said he'd had a change of heart "after the outpouring of support on social media" and decided to keep Broguiere's Dairy open. It seemed like love — and chocolate milk — had won the day.
But then the dairy reversed course again, appearing to close again after nearly 100 years in business. The outgoing voicemail at the company said they were currently closed and away from their desk, and a sign outside said the business was "closed until further notice." But the company issued no official statement about the apparent closure.
Now, as of Aug. 13, there's another new voicemail message that appears to show they have done a full 720:
"This is our current status: We currently are closed, but we are looking forward to opening at 7 a.m. this coming Friday, Aug. 16."
Back in May, when we heard about the potential closure we reached out to Alfredo Del Real. Born and raised in Montebello, he has been drinking Broguiere's milk since he was a kid. When he heard the news about the dairy's potential closure, he says he almost cried. He wrote this essay for LAist back in May and it still helps to show why Broguiere's every move can put so many people on such an emotional roller coaster.
I'm an Eastsider through and through. A real one. I spent my toddler years in City Terrace, pushed off to Boyle Heights, then East L.A. (yes, there is a difference between the two). We just kept going east until my working class parents settled in Montebello.
Once a city of mostly Italians, Irish, Russian Molokans and some Mexicans, today, Montebello is comprised of Latinos, Armenians and Asians. They're still working class people trying to live the eastside dream.
As locals, we have our favorite food stops. Tony's Deli on Whittier Blvd., Frumento's Deli on Beverly and J & S Burgers on Garfield. But it's Broguiere's Farm Fresh Dairy on Maple Avenue that has my heart. When I learned it was closing, I felt like I'd lost a dear friend.
"It's just milk," you might think. But it's much more than that.
For 100 years, Broguiere's Dairy has been one of the anchors of this community, the last bastion of small-town Montebello with a drive-through located just outside its plant. In Montebello, it's so well known we just call it "The Dairy."
It's cool enough that Huell Howser taped an episode of California's Gold there. There isn't any other place like it in Los Angeles.
While other creameries make milk, Broguiere's makes a delicious, pearly white elixir that's cool, refreshing and satisfying. Then there's the famous chocolate milk. It's heaven in a bottle and no other brand comes close to matching it.
Broguiere's eggnog is just as unbeatable. While other brands of eggnog curdle on store shelves, the stuff Broguiere's makes is so popular, it sells out before Christmas. People come from across Southern California to snag a bottle or two.
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Broguiere's only sells its products in old school glass bottles. If you're a regular, you save your empties, return them for credit and restock your supply of the delicious, frothy goodness.
It's a thing. It's our thing. And that's why news of the closure hurts so much.
It's not about the milk. It's about the sense of community Broguiere's gave us . If you grew up or live around here, Broguiere's is a reminder of your roots, your family and what they mean to you. When I drive up to The Dairy on Saturday morning to buy milk and a cardboard pallet of eggs, I know that soon I'll be in my mama's kitchen.
I might see an old friend and say, "What's up bro? How's your family?" I feel good being there — it's like hanging out at the barber shop.
I know that things change. But for a century, Broguiere's has served the community and made us feel like we're part of something special, something that's ours.
Thank you, Broguiere's. I'll miss you. I'll always have my memories and I'll always be part of something special. It's a Montebello thing.
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