151 Brow Street, East Providence
(401) 438-4450

A.B. Munroe is one of only three dairies left in the state that still deliver (the others are Christiansen's in North Providence and S.B. Winsor in Johnston). It's also the oldest business still operating in East Providence, having been established by Alfred B. Munroe in 1881 on the same property it occupies today. Alfred ran the place until his death in 1934, at which time his wife, Myra, took the reins for a few years. In 1936 Myra sold Munroe to Robert E. Armstrong, and the Armstrong family has been managing the operation ever since.

Today (as of 2009), the company has 11,000 customers in thirty-eight Rhode Island cities and towns (Block Island is the only municipality not included on the delivery routes), and in fifteen or more Massachusetts locations. All that milk—an average of 20,000 gallons a week—is produced by just 500 cows living on five family farms in Connecticut.

Monroe has always been a delivery operation, and unlike many other dairies that gave up the processing and delivery side of things in favor of opening creameries or convenience stores, Munroe has no retail locations. But if you come by Brow street at the right time, and ask nicely, they'll sell you a fresh half-gallon of coffee milk. How fresh? In most cases Munroe's milk has been outside the cow for only twenty-four to thirty-six hours before making its way to you in glass bottles. The A.B. Munroe Dairy does not operate formal tours, but make an appointment during normal business hours, and they'll be happy to show you around the processing and bottling plant.


Rhode Island Monthly's Best of Rhode Island: Best Milk Delivery (1995, 2003).

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