The Terry family moved to the northeast corner of Washington State in the early 1900’s to homestead land, mine and raise cattle. There, the founder of Terry’s Dairy, Dee Terry, was born in 1917 and grew up raising and milking cows and selling the raw milk to a local creamery in Colville. In 1945, Dee Terry married a local Colville girl, Lois Garner, and moved to a new ranch in the Colville Valley and continued the dairy operation. In 1946 there was an excess of milk in the local market and the creamery had to “out purchase” our milk. Dee went to a family-owned dairy processor in Spokane named Early Dawn Dairy. An agreement was reached for Terry’s Dairy to haul the raw milk to the plant in what is now the Spokane Valley for processing. The Terry’s Dairy truck would then run a home delivery route back to Colville, selling the milk under a Terry’s Dairy label. This was all made possible because Early Dawn Dairy had an on-site ice plant so the load of milk was kept cool with ice, light years from the fleet of refrigerated trucks Terry’s Dairy owns and operated today.
Dee and Lois had 6 children, 3 boys and 3 girls and all of the children in their teens delivered milk on the home delivery routes. In the late 1960’s the business was mostly home delivery but we were starting to pick up a few wholesale accounts and quit doing home delivery in 1984. We are now the only independent dairy distributor left in Eastern Washington.
In 1990, one of Terry sons, Dale Terry took over management of the company moved the operation to a new, larger warehouse in Colville and started growing the business to where it is today. Terry’s Dairy now operates 2 warehouses in Washington; Colville & Spokane Valley. These 2 facilities enable us to deliver to customers in Eastern Washington & Northern Idaho. To help manage this growing company, the third generation of the family, Dale’s son, Dean has joined the company to help oversee the continued distribution of quality dairy and ice cream products.