Our History

A lot has changed since 1914. So let’s take it one scoop at a time.
The Early Days
The Original Farm Family

It didn’t start with the cows. It didn’t start with milk or ice cream. It started with company founder, William Kemps, and the principles he learned from his parents on their 80-acre farm in the late 19th century.

The Birth of Kemps

William Kemps and Walter Lathrop joined together to form the Lathrop-Kemps Ice Cream Company, at 222 Fifth Street, Minneapolis. It is considered the birthplace of Kemps.

A New Factory

The Lathrop-Kemps Ice Cream plant was producing 30 tons of ice per day, and averaged 260 gallons of ice cream per hour.

Kemps is Sold to Crescent Creamery

The Kemps Ice Cream Company is sold to its St. Paul competitor, Crescent Creamery.

1929 - 1933
The Great Depression

American ice cream consumption dropped from nine quarts per person per year in 1929, to five quarts a year in 1933.

The War Years
Dairy Consumption Grows

Dairy consumption surged when the U.S. entered World War II.

A Merger Creates Marigold Foods

Crescent, Kemps, and Marigold Dairies of Wisconsin merged and became one company – Marigold Foods.  The merger would modernize and expand each brand.

The ‘60s Expansion

From 1961 to 1967, Marigold Foods doubled in size.

It's official - we are Kemps

Marigold Foods formally changed its company name to Kemps.

We are Farmer Owned

Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), one of the largest dairy cooperatives in the country, purchases Kemps.  With more than 12,500 members, DFA helps farmers find more value in their products through Kemps distribution and diverse array of products.

Cass-Clay in North Dakota Becomes Part of the Kemps Family

Kemps purchases Cass-Clay, the leading dairy in North Dakota.


Today we’re still living by the same values and delivering the same high quality dairy products as William Kemps did when we were founded, back in 1914.