Crazy Facts About Dairy Barn

Where was Long Island’s favorite place to get the bread and milk (and eggs)? Dairy Barn of course! The little red drive-thru farmhouse convenience store still exists on Long Island starting out as an extension of a failing milk farm. Below we present some crazy and historical facts about Dairy Barn.

  • In 1939, Swiss immigrant Edgar Cosman bought Oak Tree Dairy Farm in East Northport
  • Cosman was first sent to the U.S. by his father, a businessman, to work in his company’s  factory
  • The young Cosman was stranded here when WWII broke out
  • When the farm he bought started losing money, he left it up to his son Dieter to figure out
  • Dieter turned around the milk farm but in time people began losing interest in having milk delivered so he had to figure something out
  • In 1961 Dieter expanded the wholesale milk business and opened a retail chain of drive-thru convenience stores and Dairy Barn was born
  • The stores looked the same throughout the years, with a barn-shaped store, little red silo, and two canopied driveways
  • This was the first drive-thru convenience store on Long Island
  • At its height, there were about 70 Dairy Barns across Long Island
  • In 2015 there were 51 Dairy Barns
  • Company president Hari Singh once told the New York Times that “Dairy Barn is as far as you can get from the superstore experience.”
  • In the same article, Kim Martin, a clerk at the Syosset location said, “We see at least 10 people a day in pajamas.”

A Dairy Barn commercial supporting Sesame Street. Video: YouTube

  • The Oak Tree Dairy plant had a devastating fire in 1997, luckily no one was killed
  • It took a year and $11 million to rebuild, according to The New York Times
  • At the time, Oak Tree produced around 21.8 million gallons of milk a year
  • The Cosman family eventually sold its original dairy farm to a developer
  • The 37-acre property was converted into a 55-and-over condo community
  • According to the Untapped New York website, in 2010 Mike and Aegina Angeliades, a father and daughter from Long Island, took over the Dairy Barns and renamed them The Barn as part of a rebranding effort
  • Their company, Simi Enterprises, took over 38 existing locations
  • People on Long Island still called them “Dairy Barn”
  • There are other similar-looking convenience stores with drive-thrus that Long Islanders generically call Dairy Barn even though they are not
  • The Barn’s drive-thru business concept did well during the pandemic

Dairy Barn

Timeline of Dairy Barn milk bottles. Photo: Dary Barn website.

  • It was reported that The Barn merged with a company called Greek From Greece around 2019
  • According to reports, Greek From Greece expanded to New York introducing an express concept through a merger with The Barn
  • At the time the company said thirty locations would be converted to Greek From Greece Express model locations, called GFG Express
  • Greek From Greece started by selling their own brand of greek imported goods at the stores
  • According to a report, GFG returned the stores to Simi Enterprises in November 2022
  • In 2023, Simi put 17 former Dairy Barn properties up for sale
  • Entrepreneurs are buying or leasing the properties and converting them back to Dairy Barn-like drive thru convenience stores
  • The Simi owners plan to continue to operate a few stores themselves, including ones in Huntington and another in St. James
  • Founder Dieter Cosman was an avid scuba diver and shell collector
  • His shell collection included 117,000 specimens
  • The collection ended up being valuable for scientific research and gifted to Occidental College after he died

📷 Cover image. Google Maps.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *