News Category: Current Events
- From Margaret, News Team ContributorMany residents of Pleasanton, including myself, always look forward to and enjoy every visit to one of the most popular spots in town: the Meadowlark Dairy. It has something for all clientele, regardless of their different preferences. Everyone leaves with a smile on their face and their sweet tooth satisfied. Thus, the dairy has obtained and upheld a reputation as a family-friendly location and a great place to go for a refreshing ice cream on hot summer days throughout the many years it has been in business.This week, I interviewed Jesse Takens, the current owner of the Meadowlark Dairy. Here are the questions and answers from the interview.1. What is the history of the Meadowlark Dairy?The Meadowlark Dairy was founded in the early 1900s by Walter Briggs Sr. on 153 acres on Foothill Road. Meadowlark was the first certified dairy in California, earning a Grade A designation for cleanliness and quality.Jannes and Janna Takens immigrated to the U.S. from Holland after World War II and first moved to Berkeley, where Janna’s cousin who sponsored them lived. Eventually, the Takens settled in Pleasanton, where they still live, and began working on the dairy. In 1958, the Takens signed a 10-year lease for the dairy and bought it in the 1960s after Briggs’ death.After the purchase, Takens moved the cows from Pleasanton to Tracy in 1968 and built a milk processing plant at 57 W. Neal St. where the dairy remains today. The dairy has been a drive-though since it opened in July 1969, replacing the former drive-through dairy on Foothill Road. In the 1980s, Jannes and Janna sold the business to his son (Bruce Takens) and their daughter-in-law (Patti Takens).Today the dairy is run by Jannes and Janna’s grandson Jesse Takens and his wife Kelsey Takens who bought the business from Bruce and Patti in 2018.2. Why did Mr. Briggs found the dairy?The dairy was founded by Walter Briggs because he felt like he could bring a quality and clean product to the valley that had not been seen before. He achieved this by being the first certified dairy in California for cleanliness and quality.3. Why and how is this business an integral part of Pleasanton?I think the only reason it is still in Pleasanton is because of the Takens family being loyal to their customers, trying to keep pricing to a minimum, and being involved in the community. Our employees are kind and upbeat and work very hard in the summer and in the winter, which I think customers can see and appreciate.4. Since you started working here, how has this company changed?So I’m going to take you back to the 90s. Back then, milk was our number one seller. We delivered to all schools in the Tri-Valley and had the drive through for our local residents.We were delivering so much milk to the schools that Bruce and Patti decided that when the school district sold off their old equipment at an auction, they would go and get a new delivery van. There was only one catch: they were told “whatever is in the back of the van, you would have to take it with you.” When Bruce and Patti got the new van to work, they opened up the back and in it was an ice cream machine. At that point Jannes and Janna were still stopping by everyday and checking up on Bruce and Patti to make sure everything was going alright. When Jannes and Janna saw the ice cream machine in the van, the 4 of them decided to make an ice cream mix. It was delicious and a huge hit. Ever since then, it has been both ice cream and milk that have kept the business alive. In the 2000s, we added a couple of new non-dairy flavors to the original chocolate and vanilla that has helped because a lot of people are lactose intolerant or are allergic to dairy.5. What goals would you like this establishment to achieve in the future?As the future goes, we hope to only add to our menu. Expanding flavor options and more variety is a goal of ours. Other than that, we really would like to focus on quality and keeping our prices low. We want to be a place that you can come to from the time you are a little toddler to the time you are bringing in your grandkids.The Meadowlark Dairy is located at 57 West Neale Street in downtown Pleasanton. Feel free to visit its website here for more information.
No Records Found
Sorry, no records were found. Please adjust your search criteria and try again.
Google Map Not Loaded
Sorry, unable to load Google Maps API.