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Our Story...

It all began in the 1980s, when Andy and Lotty van Kasteren decided to start collecting older dairy and heritage items so that the public could see how farm families and tradesmiths would have once done their chores.


For the first 12 years, the museum was located on the van Kasteren's dairy farm. Items were picked up from auctions or estate sales, or donated by local farmers. As the collection grew, a new building was constructed on the current property.


In 2008, Gay Lea Foods purchased the museum collections. In 2010, it was decided the artifacts would remain in their current home, and the property would become part of the Gay Lea family.


Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Limited is committed to dedicated stewardship of Ontario's dairy heritage. With a history of over 50 years, we have seen how new technology quickly changes the face of our industry. While we feel it is important to embrace new trends, we also strongly believe that the tools and equipment of yesterday are worth preserving for future generations.

Andy & Lotty van Kasteren

Learn more below!

The Gay Lea Foods Story...

Started in 1958, Gay Lea Foods has grown from its humble, grassroots beginnings to become the second largest dairy

co-operative in Canada - today owned equally by over 1,200 Ontario Dairy Farmers. 


CLICK HERE to find out more about Gay Lea Foods' inspiring and unique history.

The Co-operative Story...

"Co-operative Enterprises Build a Better World". This was the slogan that accompanied the United Nation's announcement that 2012 would be the International Year of Co-operatives - the only business model ever awarded with such an honour.


CLICK HERE to find out more about the

co-operative movement, and this empowering business model.

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