Velvet History

Our Sweet History

He was only 15 when he came to America in 1903 unable to speak English. But that didn’t stop Joseph Dager from striving for the American dream. And who would have imagined that just 11 years later, Joseph Dager’s dream would be reached in the basement of a Utica, OH confectionery with an all-American product. But that’s exactly what happened when Joseph Dager sold his first batch of hand-cranked vanilla ice cream and Velvet Ice Cream was born.


Utica Ice Company

Without modern-day refrigeration and freezer systems, it was only natural that the Velvet Ice Company begin operation and producing the much needed ice cream to allow ice cream to travel to nearby destinations.


The Beginning

Joseph Dager begins making ice cream in the basement of a confectionary in Utica, Ohio. He was following his dream by making an All-American product, ice cream. Starting with just three flavors, Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry.

Velvet 1930



Charles Dager, second generation owner, was very instrumental in changing the city ordinances, so other independent companies in Ohio, like Velvet, could supply product to Columbus and central Ohio retail markets. The company’s 1st distribution center opens in Bucyrus in 1937.

Velvet 1950


It’s all in the Family

Joe and Mike Dager (3rd generation) offer a helping hand in production and other parts of the business as children, learning the business from the ground up.


Charles Dager

Charles Dager died unexpectedly in his sleep of heart failure. Edward Dager, second generation, brother, took over the business.

Velvet 1960


Ye Olde Mill

Velvet Ice Cream relocates it manufacturing facility to the Ye Olde Mill, just one mile south of Velvet’s original location. Now, the trademark for Velvet, the Mill appears on every package of ice cream and many marketing materials. The Mill is a symbol of old fashioned quality.



Renovation begins on Velvet’s Ye Olde Mill, to open as a turn of the century Ice Cream Parlor.



Ye Olde Mill is opened to the public.

Velvet 1974


First Festival

First Annual Utica Ice Cream Festival hosted by Utica Sertoma and Velvet Ice Cream. Today, nearly 30,000 people attend this festival to enjoy a day surrounded by ice cream!



Velvet begins to host guided factory tours.

Velvet 1986


The Fire

Velvet’s Ye Olde Mill is destroyed by a fire. The Dager Family rebuilds the landmark, and reopens in the spring of 1987.

Velvet 1999



Velvet redesigns the Natural Line ice cream package.


Factory Tours

Velvet’s Visitors Center opens at Ye Olde Mill for factory tours.

Velvet 2009


Dager Family

Joseph C. Dager becomes chairman of the board. Joe’s oldest daughter, Luconda, becomes president and Joanne and Andre Dager become vice-presidents.

Velvet 2013


New Redesign

Velvet redesigns the Premium, No Sugar Added, Churned and Pint ice cream cartons.