Many older Edmontonians remember the delicious Mello-Moor ice cream that was sold at the Whyte Avenue dairy bar of South Edmonton Creamery. On a hot summer’s day, there were long lines to obtain the confection at the creamery at 10105-82 avenue.
The creamery was founded in 1933 by Richard Barendregt, who managed it until 1938.
There are no references in the Henderson’s Directories, prior to 1933, for Richard Barendregt. Marie Barendregt worked at the creamery from 1933-1935 as a sternographer. Cathie Berendregt worked there as a bookkeeper in 1938.
In 1939 William Hanson bought into the South Edmonton Creamery and took over in 1940.
From 1931 or earlier, William Hanson was employed by Burns and Co. as Superintendent of Branch Creameries. Burns operated a string of creameries in Alberta and Saskatchewan and bought and sold them at various times , lastly in Northern Alberta in 1944, when they sold their remaining creameries to the Northern Alberta Dairy Pool. Hanson continued to work for Burns and Co (Palm Dairies) as Superintendent Branch Creameries in 1938, as did his daughter Enith as a stenographer.
Following the move by William to South Edmonton Creamery, Ralph and Enith also worked there, with Ralph eventually moving up to co- manage the business with his father.
William passed away on November 18, 1972, at the age of 84. Ralph was 84 when I spoke with him in 1999.
As of 2008, the creamery building is still there. In the early 1930s, the building address was 10109-Whyte Ave. The South Edmonton Creamery moved in to share the address with Fred Geary, poultry dealer, and C.M. Mawer Meats.
The creamery’s major product was butter, and later also ice cream. They were not involved in retail milk delivery.
Mello-Moor ice cream was made, and the dairy bar operated from 1955 to 1964. Palm Dairies bought the South Edmonton Creamery in 1957, but continued to operate the dairy bar until 1964.
Vernon G. Bellamy took over as plant superintendent after the Hansons sold out. Bellamy was later the plant manager.
The Highland Polar Bar was a retail outlet for Mello-Moor ice cream. It was located at 7108-112 Avenue and was opened in 1949 by Horace Voight. It was next door to the Quist Meat Market. It operated until 1961, with several proprietors, the last of which was Eugene Couture. The building which housed the Polar Bar was one of those demolished to make way for Gretsky Drive.
In the 1960s, the retail dairy industry went through a series of major changes: improved refrigerators, reductions in the frequency of home delivery and later the end thereof, rise of supermarkets, changes in milk packaging, a strong economy offering better job opportunities, and changes in shopping patterns with more women in the work force. Palm was modernizing its two Edmonton plants, located at 10804-95 street and 9934-67 avenue
South Edmonton Creamery 1963 calendar. Note the reference to Mello- Moor ice cream. The creamery was owned by Palm Dairies at the time avenue. The South Edmonton Creamery was shut down in 1964.
There do not seem to be many artifacts that have survived from the South Edmonton Creamery. I have three sizes of wooden butter boxes in my collection, and the advertising calendar that refers to Mello-Moor ice cream. Other than that item , I have not seen any signage for Mello-Moor. I would like to hear from other collectors who may have items other than the ones I have noted.