Business: Robert’s Dairy
Date of Ad: September 2, 1956
Location: 4201 Millersville Road
Years of Operation: 1877-1988
Notable: Do you remember home milk delivery? Or have you heard of it? Until refrigeration and supermarkets, most folks received frequent delivery of dairy products directly to their doorsteps from a local dairy. One of the bigger names in Indianapolis was Robert’s Dairy, which began operating in 1877. In 1930, they opened a vast new bottling operation on Millersville Road on the northeast side of the city. They even featured a giant cow mascot.
Robert’s remained a dominant supplier of dairy products to grocery stores and schools through the 1980s. The company declared bankruptcy in 1987 and sold off all of their production to Maplehurst, which in turn sold to Dean Foods in 1997. With the popularity of home grocery delivery, perhaps we’ll see a return of the milkman in the future?
Additionally: In 1982, Robert’s acquired Lindner’s stores, another local institution. These operated as a hybrid type of convenience store/ ice-cream counter, similar to United Dairy Farmers in the Cincinnati area. At their peak, over thirty Lindner’s were located around Indianapolis. After the bankruptcy of Robert’s, the popular local icons were sold several times until closing for good in 1990.