By Pat Maurer
The Clare Dairy Phil is a landmark in Clare, and between 600 and 700 teens have been employed there over the years.
They celebrated their 60th anniversary Wednesday evening with many former employees and even some of the owners and family members of the owners of the business over the years at the Former Employee Picnic.
The Dairy Phil is now owned by Melanie and Trevor Muir. Former owners include Andy and Phyllis Schieberl, Ione and Wendell Drallette, the Charles Bucholz family, Chris and Vivian Demo, Barb and Bob Roe, Dennis Rodgers and Nancy Keenan.
The guest of honor at the event was former employee Senator Debbie Stabenow, who said working at the Dairy Phil was her “first real job.” She said she lived on John R Street and could walk to work. “It was a wonderful place to work,” she said. “I learned a lot about responsibility there. It was an important part of growing up in this small community where everybody knows everybody.” She said she worked for the Demo family.
Also on hand for the festivities was Representative Joel Johnson, whose daughter was one the teens who worked at the business when she was a teenager.
Employee Emily Solomon was the featured singer for the event.