From one ice cream store 50 years ago, High's Dairy Stores have become one of the Washington area's little-known success stories, with 340 stores in five states and the District and estimated annual sales of $110 million.
Officials of High's will mark the golden anniversary today with a special cake-cutting ceremony at the company's headquarters in Laurel, Md.
In those five decades, High's has maintained its commitment to ice cream and other dairy products while expanding into other convenience-store items.
High's, a division of Capitol Milk Producers Cooperative Inc., is owned by dairy farmers from Frederick and Carroll counties. Dairy products are processed from raw milk supplied directly by cooperative farms.
"This is straight-line distribution in its purest form," said Charles Hiden, vice president of the cooperative, "and is only possible because High's is truly owned by local area farmers . . . High's unique ability to make and sell dairy products under the exclusive High's label is a shining example of using modern-day marketing methods to successfully compete in today's complex marketplace."
Hiden said that High's plans to open 50 additional stores by 1982.
Founded in Richmond as an ice-cream-"dipping" emporium by Luther W. High in 1932, the store became a full-service convenience store in the early 1960s.