It’s been nearly two years since I first set foot in Claremore’s hidden (for me) gem, Swan Bros. Dairy. Two years since I first tried cheese curds. (Always go with the hot pepper variety.) Since then, I’ve been back several times to stock up on curds. I know, the name doesn’t sound appealing, but it’s basically little chunks of cheese that are amazing with crackers.
This summer, Swan Bros. has opened up to the public and has been hosting free tours of the dairy. It’s a cool thing for kids and adults alike to do this summer. A mom friend and I took our kiddos a few weeks ago. Cookies and samples of milk were handed out. Because the milk at the dairy is raw, I’ve always turned my nose up at it. I was continuing that trend at the tour until my friend took a sip and said, “This tastes like melted vanilla ice cream.” That was all it took. I tried it and was hooked. My four-year-old loved it, too, and we went home with a gallon; it lasted maybe 48 hours between the two of us. The lesson here is something along the lines of, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Or by its name. Because apparently, ‘raw’ is a synonym for ‘delicious, creamy milk that you can’t find anywhere else remotely close to our area’. Folks drive from all over to load up on Swan’s milk. It’s that good.
Of course, they also have the cheese, and cheese curds (all made right there in-house at the dairy), cream, and other Made in Oklahoma products. They offer gift baskets, too.
Swan Bros. Dairy has been open since 1923, in the same location on 5th Street. It was started by Ruby and Harley Swan, Sr., with one lone cow. Years later, Harley, Jr. and his brother, Larry, bought out their dad, with Larry eventually selling his share, although he still helps out. Harley, Jr., in his 80s, still milks the cows on a regular basis. Recently, Harley’s daughter, Diane Williamson, became the owner, which makes her the third generation to own the dairy. Diane’s daughter, Ashley, and her husband, Zach Hollingsworth, are the fourth generation to work the farm.
If you haven’t been by Swan Bros. Dairy lately, stop by and pay them a visit. Pick up a gallon of milk and a bag of curds. You won’t regret it.