A little piece of home

With urban sprawl has brought a variety of new restaurants to Oak Harbor, one old favorite keeps thriving.

Dairy Valley Ice Cream & BBQ is a small but productive restaurant, serving warm, delicious meals for those who know of it. Indeed, newcomers to Oak Harbor may not be aware of the popular locally owned business, located off the main drag on Kettle Street, down from Midway Blvd.

When walking through the door, customers are usually greeted by a friendly “hello” and a smile from the owners, Roger and Georgette Anglum. Customers can’t help but get caught up in the small town atmosphere and are soon making conversation with fellow Dairy Valley lovers and complete strangers.

The Anglums purchased Dairy Valley about four years ago when it was sold by the previous owners, Barbara and Paul Stewart. Many who visit the restaurant regularly have been eating the delicious hot dogs and ice cream for years and fondly recall the previous owners.

Phyllis Hynson has been an Oak Harbor resident since 1957 and remembers the past fondly.

“I remember coming here when Barbara and Paul Stewart owned it, they really had a heart for the business. The best part of Dairy Valley is the quality of the food and the atmosphere. I know where my meat comes from and Roger and Georgette are very friendly,” Hynson said.

Hynson first stopped at Dairy Valley years ago. She was driving past the restaurant after work one day on her way to Market Place grocery and decided she should stop in. Since retiring, Hynson still can’t resist coming to Dairy Valley every afternoon.

“I love the ice cream, barbecue sandwiches and coffee. They have kept the prices down over the years which is also nice,” Hynson said.

It was not until the Anglums took over Dairy Valley that the popular barbecue menu was added.

“Our barbecue comes from our personally smoked meat, people seem to really enjoy the rich flavor,” Roger Anglum said.

Georgette said that all the staff at Dairy Valley look forward to seeing Hynson as well as other regulars every day.

“In addition to our regulars, we often see grandparents coming in with their grandchildren, it’s amazing to see the different generations coming together to eat here,” Georgette said.

The Anglums are people who respect tradition. Continuing the tradition established by previous owners, they still hand out licorice to children and biscuits to dogs when they come through the drive thru to pick up milk.

“It is nice to hold on to the tradition. Many people remember coming here as children and getting a piece of licorice. It makes us happy to keep the memories alive,” Roger said.

According to Georgette, among the popular hot dogs, ice cream, and barbecue sandwiches, is something more surprising - the demand for iced tea.

“Southern folks come in here because they have heard about our southern style iced tea, it is a little taste of the southern states and it reminds them of home,” Georgette said.

Others depend on Dairy Valley for their high quality milk, butter eggs and ice cream to go.

It seems the Anglums are happily prepared to continue making great food for customers, with no plans to sell or retire.

“We have lived here for 20 years, our children were raised here and we consider it home,” Roger said.

For the foreseeable future, at least, this beloved part of old Oak Harbor won’t be changing.

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