On this very spot we now know as Susanville Supermarket, or at least right beside this spot, Cy’s Dairy had cows grazing in 1933. Local Historian Tim Purdy still has a milk bottle perfectly preserved. How cool right? Milk was still delivered to porches back then. Today’s dairy business is a bit less personal but fortunately for us it’s still local.
Morning Glory Dairy is 98 years old. As long as I’ve been here it was owned and operated by Mike O’Kelly. Mike, a third generation milk man, and his father purchased Morning Glory from a co-op of farmers in 1975. They grew the business and Mike bought out his father in 1981. Last year he sold the dairy to Josh McKernan.
Josh was hired at minimum wage in 2011 and worked his way up, gaining the trust of Mike as he went. Josh would work all day at the dairy then go do yard maintenance, I know because I was a customer of both Morning Glory and his landscaping. He was so talented when it came to making my yard beautiful and served all our dairy needs. Josh’s wife, Kimber McKernan, was born and raised right here in the Ville (her bestie is our own Kailie and their little girls are besties too!) and she remembers shopping in our store since she was 4. Taking on the dairy is definitely a family affair for the McKernans. Kimber says when she was in school, like a lot of small town kids, she couldn’t wait to go somewhere bigger but now there’s no where she’d rather raise their children. With the whole ‘save the dairy’ movement she has felt so much Hometown LOVE, seeing so many people come together to help. “It’s incredible” Kimber says.
Sometimes we all think of businesses as these entities 'out there' and forget the faces and families on all sides. What we have right here is a little slice of heaven, mountains, wildlife, fresh air, clean water and countless people serving their community and caring for one another. It’s a beautiful thing.