Longtime dairy business looks toward the future

A family business in Bridgeport that has been operating in the area for more than a century recently announced plans that it hopes to stay

Wade's Dairy in Bridgeport has been operating in the area for more than a century.

Wade's Dairy in Bridgeport has been operating in the area for more than a century. (9/29/15)

BRIDGEPORT - A family business in Bridgeport that has been operating in the area for more than a century recently announced plans that it hopes to stay around for another 100 years.

The inside of Wade's Dairy has what one would expect from a dairy business, with pallets of milk, ice cream, butter and cheese all present. However, a look outside will reveal, as Doug Wade puts it, a business that has milked all it can from its current facility.

Wade says he is about to take his family business from the 1800s to the 21st century. The first step is to adorn all of the facility's buildings with enough solar panels to provide enough juice for the entire business. The $2.6 million solar plan is in response to continual changes in the dairy industry, Wade says.

"We're not going to be here if we don't make this investment," Wade goes on. "We've got an older facility now and this really sets the stage for the fifth generation of Wades to take over here."

Facility upgrades and changes won't stop once the solar panels are in place. Wade says there are plans in the works to manage at least 40 more employees. A meat company with a USDA cutting room will also be part of the expansion.

Wade says he hopes the renovations will keep the family business going for the foreseeable future.

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