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Washtenaw Dairy

Washtenaw Dairy
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Just down the street from the Michigan Radio office is an iconic Ann Arbor destination: Washtenaw Dairy. It didn’t come by the label of “icon” lightly; the dairy is celebrating its 85th anniversary this week.

Today, Washtenaw Dairy is known for ice cream, doughnuts, and coffee. But when Edwin Laubengayer opened the shop in the middle of the Great Depression, it was one of the state’s many dairy shops.

Michigan Radio

Jim Smith, co-owner of Washtenaw Dairy and a treasured member of the Ann Arbor community, passed away Tuesday after a battle with cancer. Affectionately referred to as “Big Jim,” Smith ran the daily operations of the popular Ann Arbor coffee, donuts, and ice cream spot with his business partner, Doug Raab.

Ann Arbor will remember Jim as an immensely generous, fun and friendly man who created a community within his small ice cream and donut shop.