Working together as a family, each generation of the Dager family has contributed to Velvet’s success, and today is no different. With Joe as chairman and his daughters running the day-to-day operations, Velvet continues to grow. The fourth generation of the Dager family, Luconda, President, and Joanne, Vice-President, continue to carry on Joseph Dager’s dream.
With the help of Joseph’s sons Ed and Charlie, Velvet Ice Cream grew into a thriving business. In the 1930s, Velvet built a manufacturing plant behind the confectionery and began selling ice cream to near-by grocery stores and restaurants expanding into Columbus in 1937. Eventually this booming business outgrew its space in downtown Utica and in 1960 it was time to move. By this time, the third generation of Dager’s, Joe and Mike, were playing a major role in running the company.
More than 150,000 people visit this family-fun destination every year to learn about Velvet and enjoy a delicious taste of ice cream history.
Ed Dager, 2nd generation president of the company, started looking for Velvet’s new home. They found the perfect site to support Velvet’s growth on the outskirts of Utica. The site had an old gristmill built in 1817. The Dagers thought the mill was a great representation of the old-fashioned goodness and loving care that Joseph Dager put into his hand-cranked ice cream. With that, they restored the historic mill and it not only became their new headquarters, it became their trademark and appears on Velvet Ice Cream’s packaging to this date.