Nick’s Dairy Milk Bottle

Nick’s Dairy Milk Bottle

This quart milk bottle from Nick’s Dairy was a purchase on eBay for the Historical Museum’s collection. Dairyman Nicholas Sorich was born in 1892 in what was then Austria and today is Croatia. He and his wife Genevieve were the operators of Nick’s Dairy in San Anselmo at the end of San Francisco Boulevard and in Sausalito in the late 1930s. In 1945, the Soriches purchased the equipment and dairy herd of the Spagnoli’s San Anselmo Dairy, also at the end of San Francisco Blvd. The following year they purchased the buildings and 89 acres from the Spagnolis. Nick’s Dairy was renamed So-Rich Dairy in 1950.

The San Rafael Daily Independent Journal described the modern operation in September 1952:

“Milk literally runs down the hill straight to the consumer at the So-Rich Dairy in San Anselmo. But consumers needn’t worry; it’s still in the cow when it comes down from the hill to the milking barn and retail store at 500 San Francisco Boulevard.

The point is, the milking barn is built on the hillside permitting gravity flow of milk from the herd to the retail store to the buyer.

Established in 1937 to deliver milk to all parts of the county, owner Nick Sorich specializes in pasteurized and homogenized milk and cream. It is the only dairy in the county where homogenized and pasteurized milk can be purchased directly at the ranch at ranch prices, which means a saving of three-cents a quart or 12-cents a gallon.

On the 90-acre grazing land lying in the hills behind the milking barn, a herd of 130 cattle are allowed to amble and feed. At milking time they browse down to the milking barn which is on an elevation higher than the processing plant.

From the milking barn the fresh milk is piped direct to the second floor of the processing plant where it is cooled, homogenized and pasteurized, then sent down for more cooling and bottling on the first floor. It is a single operation from the herd to the consumer that brings milk to the buyer at a savings over delivered products.

So-Rich of course also delivers and distributes milk and milk products throughout the county.

Owner Sorich has about 12 employees at the modern processing plant in San Anselmo.”

   The dairy was open seven days a week for customers to buy milk.

    In 1953, the Soriches sold the milk routes to Lucas Valley Dairy and scaled back their operations. The Town of San Anselmo approached the Soriches in 1959 about purchasing some of the acreage for a new corporation yard. The Soriches, however, offered to sell the 62 acre site. The Town completed the legal steps to annex the property and reached an agreement whereby the ranch was divided into six parcels and the Town purchased the first one immediately and paid rent on the rest. Over each of the next five years, another parcel was purchased and rent was paid on the unpurchased parcels. In 1965, the Town completed the purchase of Sorich Ranch.

The Soriches relocated to Pollock Pines in 1964 where they owned and operated a motel. Nick died in 1968 and Genevieve in 1978. Both are buried at Mt. Tamalpais Cemetery.

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