NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Mark Ezell is leaving a company he’s loved all of his life, a company started by his grandfather Miles Ezell.
“My grandfather came up with the name Purity. He had seen it on a stainless steel milk vat and said that would be a great name someday for a dairy [plant],” said Ezell.
That someday came in 1946, when Miles Ezell Sr. built a new milk plant on Murfreesboro Road in south Nashville. The Gasser brothers joined him to create a partnership incorporated as Purity Dairies.
“When you make a great product, our family philosophy was you need to tell everybody about that product so they could try it,” said mark Ezell.
Animated advertising in the 60’s led to half a century of television commercials. Actor Jim Varney became the face of Purity Products.
“In the 1980’s when Jim Varney and Caren and Cherry created Ernest for us, Purity started becoming a household name,” said the President of Purity Dairies.
With the demise of two large dairy competitors Purity, like creme, rose to the top of the Nashville market. It was sold to Dean Foods in 1998. Ezell spoke highly of the company.
“Dean Foods has been very good for us. We needed to become larger and that’s why the family sold the business in what has been 20 years ago.”
Mark Ezell is the last family member to lead Purity Dairies.
“We’ve been so blessed and this dairy has been such a big part of that.”
With the blessing of prosperity, comes responsibility.
“My grandfather did a good job in communicating to us that our real purpose in life was to serve others, to honor God by serving others,” said Ezell.
Over the years, Purity has honored its founder’s legacy by donating millions of dollars to charitable organizations in Nashville and around the globe.Click here to read more stories from Anne Holt’s Tennessee.