Our family has always moved to its own beat. Curious and creative with an independent streak to match, we love bringing people together—around good friends, great music, and local food. So it’s no wonder three generations of Keseys have made this our lives’ mission. For the first decade, Springfield Creamery focused on milk—bottling glass jugs for home delivery while supplying local schools for lunches each day. All the while, Chuck and Sue kicked around the idea of a specialty product to help buoy the creamery financially. The timing felt right for something new. Nancy Van Brasch Hamren had been making yogurt at home in San Francisco for years before moving to Springfield to join the Creamery as its bookkeeper. Her grandmother’s traditional recipes were simple, time-tested, and natural—just the type of food more of the Kesey’s own family and neighbors were turning toward. Nancy shared her technique, and Chuck had one more ingredient in mind: A relatively unknown, hardly pronounceable, microscopic bacteria that’d soon help put Springfield Creamery—and its bookkeeper—on the map. When Chuck, Sue, and Nancy sold that first jar of honey-sweetened yogurt, it might not have felt historic. But with Chuck’s addition of “Acidophilus”—the beneficial bacteria he’d been fascinated by while studying dairy science in school—Nancy’s became the first yogurt sold in the United States to contain live probiotics. People liked the taste, and customers calling to place orders were greeted with a friendly voice: “Springfield Creamery, this is Nancy.” It wasn’t long before folks just started asking for “Nancy’s Yogurt.” And the name stuck.
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