The Old Dairy marks Santa Barbara’s rich legacy in dairy and agriculture, and honors the Central Coast’s heritage of farms, orchards and pasturelands.
Built in 1934, The Old Dairy was the largest of ten, family-run dairies that once operated in downtown Santa Barbara.
For decades, the dairy’s herd of Jersey/Holstein crosses was pastured along San Ysidro Road, in Montecito, southeast of town. Raw milk was transported from the farm to the creamery, and processed into drinking milk, cream, yogurt, butter and, of course, ice cream.
By the early 1970’s, The Old Dairy halted production of other products to focus exclusively on McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams.
In 2013, McConnell’s undertook a major renovation. The original freezers were decommissioned and state of the art ice cream-making equipment was installed in the creamery.
Today, we continue to make our ice creams completely from scratch, from pasteurizing local, grass-grazed milk & cream, to our house-made variegates (“swirls”, “ribbons” and such).
After 70-years, we’ve learned something: to make the finest ice creams, you must control the process, every step of the way.