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Christiansen’s Milk – In Glass Bottles Delivered by Vintage Milk Trucks! North Providence, RI

Posted on: October 26, 2012

En route to Yacht Club Sodas, Retro Roadsis and I were surprised to see this DARLING little milk truck from Christiansen’s Dairy in North Providence RI.

And you know what’s even cooler? This family owned business use these vintage trucks to deliver milk in glass bottles directly to your house! Dang I wished  we lived closer!!

Christiansen's Milk Truck

My pal Larry of Diner Hotline informs me it’s a Divco Milk Truck

 I’ll be honest. Christiansen’s wasn’t even on my Retro Roadmap Radar, until we saw this sign. Then we saw the truck. Then we turned and gasped at the striking black and white vintage sign on their roof. When we saw the cows on the roof? Well then we knew the makings of a Retro Roadmap discovery was on our hands.

Christiansen's Fine Milk Vintage Sign

We parked the Retro Roadmobile next to some other vintage Milk Trucks, and proceeded to the office door, where we were greeted by an even better find. Deb, office manager, co-owner, and very gracious hostess who welcomed two wacky gals into her office, with a smile.

She told us about being part of the 3rd generation to run this family owned business, and how her grandfather started it back in the 1920s. They work with local dairy farmers to process their milk, and then deliver it to the local area.

Our milk is pasteurized and homogenized on site. Bottled in glass or recyclable plastic containers for our consumers choice. All of our milk comes from local dairy farms and is hormone free.

  • Milk, in glass bottles.
  • Delivered.
  • From a vintage milk truck.

AND – swoon- THEY EVEN DROP IT OFF IN THE MILK BOX – provided free of charge  ON YOUR BACK STEP! That’s like a retro home run!

Christiansens Dairy Rhode Island Milk Box

You can also get all sorts of other groceries delivered at the same time as your dairy goods (butter,cream, cheese), from bacon,bread and eggs and cheese to pastries – even Egg Nog when it’s nog season.  I just think that is so, SO cool. You can call them or place an order online from their website.

But wait, there’s more vintage goodness!

The Graphotype Machine

Speaking of placing an order – you’ll absolutely be over the moon by their old fashioned approach to office work. And I mean that in the coolest, old-schoolest way possible.

When I asked Deb if I could snap a few photos, the dear gal started covering up this antiquated piece of machinery that we were absolutely fascinated by:

Graphotype Machine

We asked her please to not cover it up, and to please tell us all about it!
That, my modern pals is their  Graphotype machine, that is in use to this day, helping Deb create invoices and customer records. This place is so wonderfully old school that they don’t even have a computer system!

Graphotype Closeup
Now we were completely utterly fascinated, and pleaded with her to show us how it was done. She showed us how she takes a metal plate and then embosses a customers name and address on it, to have in their files, so she can make a carbon copy of any order that they get.

Graphotype Address Tags

They even have a filing cabinet that is designed specifically to store all these little plates! Again, I want to live closer to them, so MY info can be permanently embosses on a metal plate!

Speaking of not living closer, and I’d be soon many states away, Roadsis and I had to choose our purchases with care. Part of the Retro Roadmap credo is that we try to support local mom n pops, not only by writing about them but by purchasing their products as well!

Christiansen's Milk - Glass Bottles
Because the glass bottles are returnable, and I would not be able to return my bottle, I left the bulk milk purchasing to Retro Roadsis, who could then share it with the entire fam (note – she did, it was delish.)

I opted to buy some famous Rhode Island Coffee Milk – one of the 2 official drinks of the state of RI and Christiansen’s was voted Voted BEST COFFEE MILK by RI Monthly Magazine. How could we resist?

The coffee milk comes in these adorable little half pint bottles – perfect for a sippin sister!

Coffee Milk From Christiansen's

So there you have it! A random roadside discovery, filled with vintage product packaging, deliveries using vintage vehicles, friendly family owned, using great old technology.

I heart this place, and you will too. Stop on by and tell Deb that Retro Roadmap sent you!