Iconic 100 Year Old Illinois Dairy, Chain of 30+ Ice Cream Stores Files For Bankruptcy

Oberweis Dairy Inc., a well-known Illinois-based company famous for its ice cream stores and glass-bottled milk, has recently announced its decision to lay off 127 workers and file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection while seeking a sale of the company.

Among its top unsecured creditors are Nussbaum Transportation, owes more than $774,000; Greco & Sons, owes just shy of $722,000; and Penske Truck Leasing, owes more than $132,000. In addition Oberweis Dairy owes more than $173,000 to the Cook County treasurer’s office in Chicago.

Oberweis Dairy has also claimed its assets and liabilities as between $10 million and $50 million and as having up to 5,000 creditors.

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Despite this significant financial setback, the company says it is determined to maintain its normal business operations while working through the bankruptcy process.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Oberweis Dairy acknowledged the challenges it has faced, leading to the difficult decision to file for bankruptcy.

The statement emphasized that the choice to file for bankruptcy was made after careful consideration of alternative options and with the ultimate goal of securing the best possible future for the organization.

“The intent of this filing is to seek debt relief while the company continues to operate in the ordinary course of business as a sale is pursued,” the statement explained.

As part of the bankruptcy proceedings, Oberweis Dairy notified the state of Illinois that 127 jobs at its North Aurora facility will be eliminated on June 11.

However, the company has not provided immediate details on whether its retail outlets across the state will be affected by the bankruptcy filing.

Founded in 1915 by Peter Oberweis, an Aurora dairy farmer who started selling milk from his horse-drawn wagon, the family business has grown to include more than 30 locations in Illinois, Missouri, Michigan, and Indiana.

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The company’s workforce, which typically numbers around 1,100 employees, including many part-time workers at its stores, can swell to over 1,500 during the peak summer season when ice cream demand is at its highest.

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