As Tipperary Co-op embarks on a second century of business development and service to the local community, we’re delighted to look back and share our remarkable history with you.
Here are some key dates in the ever-evolving story that is your local Tipperary Co-operative Creamery:
The foundation stone was laid for the new creamery. The new facility opened the following year in O’Brien Street, Tipperary (a separate location to the existing Station Road buildings). The turnover for the first year of trading was £13,000. By 1924, the turnover had risen ten-fold, reaching £130,000.
• From 1918 to the 1940s:
Due to economic pressures a number of local creameries amalgamated with Tipperary Co-op: Alleen and Ballinard (1918), Carnahalla (1919), Donohill and Emly (1920s), Aherlow, Dungrud and Ballygriffin (1940s).
• 1950s & 1960s:
The 1950s and early 1960s were periods of stagnation in the dairy industry and in the co-operative movement. However, the 1970s brought new hope for the co-operative creamery.
In 1971, Borrisoleigh Co-op amalgamated with Tipperary Co-op.
In 1972, the society acquired the Dairy Disposal Company’s interest in the Tipperary area. In that year, a new powder plant, service block, intake unit and laboratory were built at Station Road. It was at this time our milk suppliers moved to bulk milk collection, discontinuing the milk branch structure collection system.
• Mid to late 1970s:
Solohead Co-op joined Tipperary in 1974 and the closure of the Old Branch Network began. A new administration block was built in 1978.
The building of the Continental Cheese Factory began in 1980. Further upgrades to the Agri trading stores occurred throughout the 1980s.
In 1990, a new retail store complex was built on the grounds of the original creamery at O’Brien Street, Tipperary.
The 1990s also saw the acquisition of a cheese packaging and distribution business in the Burgundy region of France. This subsidiary trades under the name of ‘Tippagral’. Also during the 1990s, we purchased a retail supermarket – Tipperary Co-op SuperValu was launched in 1997.
During the early 2000s, our specialised food markets had begun to grow significantly in the United States. As a result, we developed a new cheese ‘cut and pack’ facility as part of our cheese manufacturing operation.
After almost 26 years in operation, our cheese plant was decommissioned and replaced by a new specialised continental cheese plant. This new plant was fully operational in early 2007.
Tipperary Co-op continued the growth of its international operations with the purchase of a French cuisine food company, Perrine. This business provides food manufacturers, foodservice operators and retailer deli-counters with innovative and original food concepts.
• Mid to late ‘00s:
In 2006, and in 2010, our Tipperary Co-op SuperValu was extended and refurbished to offer a more enhanced shopping environment. In 2011, we converted from heavy fuel oil to natural gas as our major energy source for milk processing.