History Timeline

He was only 15 when he came to America in 1903 unable to speak English. But that didn’t stop Joseph Dager from striving for the American dream. And who would have imagined that just 11 years later, Joseph Dager’s dream would be reached in the basement of a Utica, OH confectionery with an all-American product. But that’s exactly what happened when Joseph Dager sold his first batch of hand-cranked vanilla ice cream and Velvet Ice Cream was born.

  • 1910

    Velvet Ice Company

    Utica Ice Company

    Without modern-day refrigeration and freezer systems, it was only natural that the Velvet Ice Company begin operation and producing the much needed ice cream to allow ice cream to travel to nearby destinations.

  • 1914


    The Beginning

    Joseph Dager begins making ice cream in the basement of a confectionary in Utica, Ohio. He was following his dream by making an All-American product, ice cream. Starting with just three flavors, Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry.

  • 1930



    Charles Dager, second generation owner, was very instrumental in changing the city ordinances, so other independent companies in Ohio, like Velvet, could supply product to Columbus and central Ohio retail markets. The company’s 1st distribution center opens in Bucyrus in 1937.

  • 1950

    Joe Dager

    It’s all in the Family

    Joe and Mike Dager (3rd generation) offer a helping hand in production and other parts of the business as children, learning the business from the ground up.

  • 1958

    Charles Dager

    Charles Dager died unexpectedly in his sleep of heart failure. Edward Dager, second generation, brother, took over the business.

  • 1960


    Ye Olde Mill

    Velvet Ice Cream relocates it manufacturing facility to the Ye Olde Mill, just one mile south of Velvet’s original location. Now, the trademark for Velvet, the Mill appears on every package of ice cream and many marketing materials. The Mill is a symbol of old fashioned quality.

  • 1965


    Renovation begins on Velvet’s Ye Olde Mill, to open as a turn of the century Ice Cream Parlor.

  • 1970


    Ye Olde Mill is opened to the public.

  • 1974

    Ice Cream Festival

    First Festival

    First Annual Utica Ice Cream Festival hosted by Utica Sertoma and Velvet Ice Cream. Today, nearly 30,000 people attend this festival to enjoy a day surrounded by ice cream!

  • 1978


    Velvet begins to host guided factory tours.

  • 1986

    Velvet Fire Timline

    The Fire

    Velvet’s Ye Olde Mill is destroyed by a fire. The DagerFamily rebuilds the landmark, and reopens in the spring of 1987.

  • 1999



    Velvet redesigns the Natural Line ice cream package.

  • 2000

    Factory Tours

    Velvet’s Visitors Center opens at Ye Olde Mill for factory tours.

  • 2009

    Dager Family

    Dager Family

    Joseph C. Dager becomes chairman of the board. Joe’s oldest daughter, Luconda, becomes president and Joanne and Andre Dager become vice-presidents.

  • 2013

    Velvet Redesign 2013

    New Redesign

    Velvet redesigns the Premium, No Sugar Added, Churned and Pint ice cream cartons.