About Us

A Century of Tradition

Family has been at the center of everything we do for four generations. Since 1914, Velvet Ice Cream has been family owned and operated in Utica, OH. Our premium craft ice cream, with its signature velvety texture, has grown to be a staple in homes throughout central Ohio and across the region (OH, KY, WV, MI, IN).

With a long tradition of supporting local communities, organizations and a steadfast commitment to giving back, Velvet Ice Cream supports many organizations like: Pelotonia, the Utica Sertoma, Adopt-A-Highway, Licking County Humane Society and others.

We currently distribute more than 5 million gallons of ice cream and welcome over 150,000 visitors to our headquarters in Utica, OH every year.

Starting with the first gallon of hand-cranked vanilla ice cream that Joseph Dager made in 1914, we have never compromised our recipes, traditions or values because they are what make Velvet a true original.

Luconda Dager, President

While ice cream is the family business, Luconda started her career in New York spending several years working in the retail fashion industry. She returned to join Velvet Ice Cream in 1994 and has been the fourth-generation leader since 2009 continuing to maintain the traditions and values of the company while expanding the portfolio and reach within the region.

Luconda believes in giving back to the industry and community through service, giving her time and talents regularly to many organizations including being on the Board of Directors of the International Dairy Foods Association and a trustee for Hervey Memorial Library in Utica, Ohio. She also is active in the Conway Center for Family Business and is a frequent speaker and author within the industry.

Luconda graduated from Newark Catholic High School in Newark, Ohio. She earned a bachelor’s degree in 1991 from Xavier University in Cincinnati. She was the recipient of Columbus Business First “Forty Under Forty” list for influential business leaders in 2007 and a Central Ohio Family Business Hall of Fame Recipient in 2018.  In 2019, Velvet was ranked #10 on the Largest Central Ohio Women-Owned Businesses list in Columbus Business First.

Joanne Dager, Vice President

Joanne spent several years in Cincinnati managing restaurants and working for regional and national foodservice companies. With an extensive background in food sales and hospitality, she returned to Utica, OH to join the family business as a fourth-generation member in 2004. She has worn many hats within the Velvet organization, but her focus remains on Velvet’s Foodservice and Tourism divisions.

Joanne is an expert in designing customized programs that meet customers’ needs and is dedicated to creating a memorable experience for all who visit Velvet’s headquarters and the historical Ye Olde Mill. She is also active in the business community where she sits as a member of the Advisory Board for the Conway Center for Family Business and the Guest Relations Association Board.

Joanne attended Newark Catholic High School, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Xavier University in 1995. She was the general manager of Cincinnati’s Plaza 600 restaurant and was a food sales representative at Abbot Foods and US Foods.

Joe Dager, Chairman

Joe began working for his family’s company in 1950 when just a boy. Some two decades later, Joe and his brother Mike took over the family business establishing Velvet Ice Cream and a major Ohio tourism destination and a thriving business.

In 2009, Joe handed the reins of the family company over to his daughters. He now serves as chairman of the board and advisor to the leadership team, helping guide Velvet’s continual growth strategy and role in the local community.

Service has always been a large part of the culture Joe built at Velvet Ice Cream and throughout his career, he has served: the Utica Sertoma Club, the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization, Utica Historical Society, the Licking Memorial Health Systems board and International Dairy Foods Association board. Joe continues to be an active member of the Licking County community. ​ Joe is an Eagle Scout and recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.