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Clover Stornetta - A Petaluma Staple


Clover Stornetta - A Petaluma Staple

Located in Sonoma County, California is the historic Downtown Petaluma with a community that actively contributes to Petaluma’s rich community. One of the pioneers in the agricultural division of Petaluma is surely Clover, a leader in sustainable dairy farming. At the head of Clover Stornetta Farms was the original founder, Gene Benedetti, who established his legend in the dairy industry until he passed away in 2006. Two of his sons and two grandsons continue his tradition at the Clover Stornetta Plant in Petaluma.

Clover Stornetta Farms LogoAfter Mr. Benedetti started his career in the dairy industry in 1946, the Clover Stornetta farms was founded in 1977 with Benedetti enthusiastically at the head. The rich natural resources of Sonoma County are the ideal for dairy farming is something he discovered early in his dairy career. With magnificent pasturelands for cows to graze and terrific climate, the Clover Stornetta Farms received the county’s first dairy award, the Free Farmed Label for their humane production of animal products.

Born in 1919, few realize that Gene M. Benedetti was born in Sonoma County, after his parents left Italy in 1913. At age eight, his parents bought a house in Cotati and he still lives there with his wife. A native from Petaluma, the boy completed his education at Petaluma High School, went to St. Joseph’s Church in Cotati and continue to have his first communion there, got married in the same church and still goes there. A man with strong roots and christian values, his first job at a Creamery was as a field man, going out to dairy farms to get new business. He continued on to the plant where he learned to make butter, cottage cheese, pasteurization, and bottled milk.

Clover Stornettas Clo Cow Billboard Outstanding in her fieldThe injection of the advertising legend of Clover Stornetta was to create CLO Cow in 1969, which became the official mascot. The idea of putting together a comical cow came from an advertising company in Santa Rosa when Benedetti wanted to put up a billboard. Although the initial reaction was to change the first cow, it remained with the company which today is the company's brand.

The very first billboard with Clo was the comic standing out in the field in front of an Oak tree with the slogan, “Outstanding in Her Field”. This same caricature of a cow continues to win International Billboard Awards. The well-known, beloved Clo, the cow, adorns Clover Stornetta billboards still today as well as on their big and small trucks.  Something few people are aware of is that their billboard collections are bundled in a book called, The Wholly Cow, retrospective of the billboards over a thirty-one year span. The proceeds of book sales goes to the Sonoma County Community Foundation.  Also check out second volume Wholly Cow II by Anne Vernon 2010; 40 years of Clo, The Cow

What's 'Moo' with Clover lately? 

Clover Stornettas Hoppy Hour Beer FloatMmmmmm we thought you would never ask.  Organic Ice Cream! According to MarketWatch article on April 22 "It's a Scoop! Clover Launches new Cowlifornia-Made Organic Ice Cream Line", Clover Stornetta Farms launched a new line of premium ice cream made from fresh organic Clover milk and cream.  12 rich and creamy flavors will be introduced over the next six months and can be found in your local Whole Foods Market which has an exclusive on this product. You may have seen a recent post on Positively Petaluma the Hoppy Hour beer float (no we are not missing the 'root' in 'beer float' here). That's right a 'beer float' with Clover's Hoppy Hour ice cream.  If you have had one, please let us know in the comments.