Wright Dairy tradition continues in Inverness

Published 2:19 pm Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What’s special about a pimento cheese sandwich? I thought about this as my daughter told me of the great sandwiches where she often eats lunch: Wright Dairy in Inverness.

I later looked up their Web site where I found a daily menu, read the family history, discovered that Wright Dairy sells hormone-pesticide-antibiotic-free milk products produced locally from grass fed cows. The restaurant is located in the Inverness Heights Market (intersection of Highway 280 and Cahaba Beach Road, near T.J. Maxx).

Arriving at this ice cream parlor/natural grocery/restaurant during lunchtime, I was greeted warmly by Carrie Henderson, a friend of owner Carla Manning. Carla is the granddaughter of Wright Dairy founders, Milton and Ruth Wright.

The Wrights began their dairy in Ragland in 1947, wholesaling milk in Boaz, and later selling milk door-to-door. Their son David took over the dairy in 1977 and expanded it into Alexandria. Wright Dairy is the only producer, processor and retailer in the state.

Waiting on lunch, I enjoyed the huge mural that spans two walls — a beautiful countryside scene complete with farm animals, Grandpa Milton on a tractor, Alabama hills — painted by Carla’s aunt Judy Wright Mayer.

Within minutes Carla appeared bearing a scrumptious plate of food: creamy pimento cheese and crisp lettuce on wheat, pita chips, black bean salsa and a crunchy dill pickle.

Wright Dairy Ice Cream & Natural Foods opened in Inverness on Sept. 1, 2006.

“People were driving to Ragland and bring back thirty gallons or so of milk. The people here encouraged us to open a local store,” Carla said. “I love making people happy. What better way to do that, than making delicious ice cream and food?”

Got Milk? Inverness’ Wright Dairy definitely does, and it’s fresh, along with other quality products from good neighbors. After lunch, I tried their strawberry ice cream, which is on the list of “100 dishes to eat in Alabama before you die,” and drove away happy.