Nearly Century-Old Broguiere's Dairy Threatened by City Construction Project - NBC Southern California

Nearly Century-Old Broguiere's Dairy Threatened by City Construction Project

Moving out of Montebello would "be the end of our business," the owner of Broguiere's Dairy says

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    Courtesy of Broguiere's Dairy
    Founded in 1920, Broguiere's Dairy has been family owned and operated for over 90 years, offering its iconic bottled milk and fresh produce to customers.

    A nearly century-old, family-run dairy known for its Christmastime eggnog and featured in Huell Howser's "California's Gold" could be forced to relocate due to the development of a railway underpass in Montebello.

    Under the proposed construction project, a stretch of Maple Avenue where Broguiere's Farm Fresh Dairy is located would be lowered between Mines and Colegrove avenues to create the underpass, meaning customers would lose street access to the business.

    "After almost 95 years, how is our location a problem now?" said Danielle Broguiere, who is an employee and granddaughter to the current owner. "Everyone in the area comes to the dairy. Why does this particular train stop need construction?"

    The Montebello Corridor Grade Separation Project was designed in 2015 to limit congestion and collisions in the Montebello area.

    The project could limit visibility and accessibility to the business, removing the drive-through that gives Broguiere's dairy 90 percent of their sales traffic, Broguiere said.

    The dairy is a city staple famous for its bottled milk and farm-fresh taste.

    "What makes us unique is our packaging," Broguiere said. "It's old-school, and honestly tastes way better than plastic bottles."

    A computerized rendering shows a proposed railway underpass project in Montebello, near the Broguiere's Farm Fresh Dairy, pictured in the top right.
    Photo credit: Courtesy of ACE Construction Authority

    Some fans of the Montebello dairy appear just as unhappy with the plan. California resident and dairy patron Robert Pronce said what is hailed as "progress" doesn't always accomplish what it sets out to do.

    "Uprooting folk from their life-long habits and business may benefit some, but the uprooted and their feelings go up in smoke," he said.

    Ray Broguiere, the current owner of the dairy, said originally city officials promised they would relocate the building to a property only 100 feet away. However, he said when the next meeting rolled around, the plans had been changed.

    "They are all liars," he said, "I point the finger at the City Council; nothing can be done without the OK from the city."

    The new proposed alternate option is to create a 300-foot driveway to the dairy off of a nearby street, West Mines Avenue.

    Danielle Broguiere called the driveway idea "ridiculous."

    "No one is going to want to walk up a 300-foot driveway," she said. "We also have a lot of elderly customers who may not be able to make it up the driveway."

    Right now, only the concept has been approved by the Alameda Corridor-East Construction Authority, meaning there is plenty of room for improvements and changes, according to the agency's spokesman, Paul Hubler.

    "The very purpose of this phase is to meet with local business owners to mitigate the effects (of the project)" and to work out alternatives, he said.

    Ray Broguiere has lawyered up. He says he has been in contact with Alameda and the City Council, and maintains he was promised a small relocation and doesn't accept the driveway.

    The last alternative, which is moving completely out of the city of Montebello, would "be the end of our business," the owner says.

    Alameda is presenting the conceptual design to the City Council on July 13. If the current plan is approved, Hubler said local businesses would be forced to negotiate within a year, adding relocation was still an option.

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