Looking Back


Onoway Creamery - Cream of the Crop!

Onoway Creamery was a reliable source of income for many of the farmers in the area. Most raised cattle and brought the cream in cream cans to Onoway to the creamery which was located east of the present day Shell. The cream was tested, percentage of butterfat determined, then they received a cheque, which enabled them to shop for groceries in town.

Cream statement 1953
Cream statement 1965

CNE first prize 1973The first creamery in Onoway opened in 1926. The plant burned down in 1942 and was rebuilt. It underwent changes in name and ownership and in 1948 became the Northern Alberta Dairy Pool. The business thrived, employed locals and produced high quality butter. At the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto in 1953, Onoway's creamery won 1st prize for June butter you can't get much better than that!

With time and the advances in mechanization and transportation, the cream was picked up by NADP tank truck and hauled to processing plants in Edmonton or Barrhead. The Onoway Creamery closed in 1973.

Butter pressBut farmers didn't bring all their cream to the creamery. They kept some to make butter at home many people have memories of turning the handle of the butter churn for what seemed like hours. Whether it was a one-gallon glass jar or a four-gallon wooden churn, there was no way to speed up the process. The butter would be washed, salt added, put in the butter press to make it into a compact block, then, if you were lucky, covered in crispy butter paper. Extra butter was kept in cool storage in a pail in the well.

Fresh butter on bread just out of the oven life may not have been easy in the early days but that fine home-made food cannot be equalled today!

Butter paper


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 Last updated: October 14, 2015