SYRACUSE, N.Y. — It’s a sure sign of spring in Central New York when Byrne Dairy restocks its famous mint milk in stores to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

Production takes place right in Byrne Dairy’s downtown Syracuse plant on Oneida Street, where raw milk is processed, flavored, bottled and shipped out to customers, often in the same day.

Their mint specialty milk is made with whole milk, sugar, mint flavoring and green dye.

Bill Byrne worked for 42 years in dairy plant operations and quality control. He helped to develop mint milk in 1976 and credits the idea to his uncle, Vincent Byrne.

“Vin wanted something different for the customers, to enjoy at the end of winter,” said Byrne, who also served as president of Byrne Dairy for 10 years. “When we came up with the product, it really developed a following. St. Patrick’s Day is about having a little blarney going, and certainly mint milk fits the bill.”

Byrne feels deep gratitude and pride in his family’s history as dairy entrepreneurs. His grandfather Matthew Byrne founded the company in 1933, only a few years after he lost everything in the stock market crashof 1929.

“The Byrne family came to the United States from Ireland and made successful lives for themselves,” Byrne said. “The legacy I’d like for us is that we’ve been a good place to work, that we’ve done a good job for our farmers and customers.”

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