Lawsuit: Historic Alpenrose Dairy could soon be sold
Members of the family that owns Alpenrose Dairy are planning to imminently sell it to a buyer who will not preserve it, posing a threat to a high-profile and historic Portland business and its roughly 150 employees' jobs, a new lawsuit claims.
The lawsuit, which intends to stop the sale, reflects a split between the descendants of the Cadonau family that has operated the dairy, located in the Hayhurst neighborhood of southwest Portland, for more than 125 years. The dairy is home to a velodrome, a midget car racing track, a 4-H discovery farm, and the Little League Softball World Series.
The suit is filed on behalf of three members of the Cadonau family against two others, as well as against two legal entities called the Cadonau Family Management Trust and the Cadonau Charter Limited Partnership.
The lawsuit filed by Carol Cadonau III, Tracy Cadonau McKinnon and Cary Cadonau, claims it is "brought to stop the destruction of Alpenrose Dairy … and the land upon which Alpenrose sits."
The suit claims two other family members, Barbara Deeming and Anita Cadonau-Huseby are disregarding a family "legacy plan" to preserve the dairy and the land its on, instead planning to "line their own pockets" by selling the land. The suit claims the defendants "are agreeing to sell the assets of Alpenrose" to a buyer whose intention is "to only operate Alpenrose for one or two more years."
The lawsuit says that the plaintiffs have refused to sign on to the proposed sale and asks for a preliminary injunction to block the sale. It also demands at least $35 million, which the suit indicates is the value of the dairy.
The defendants issued the following statement on Wednesday, March 6:
Barbara Deeming, Anita Cadonau-Huseby, and the other defendants in the lawsuit filed against them on March 4, 2019 in Multnomah County Circuit Court wish to issue the following statement:
"This is a private family dispute, and we are saddened that it has entered the public sphere. The allegations are also false and seem intended on creating confusion. Our family founded Alpenrose Dairy, and has stewarded its legacy for over 100 years, through changes in our industry and community. A family-based leadership structure remains responsible for guiding the dairy. We are focused on a resolution to this dispute."
According to the suit, "The Dairy Community Land is also home to Storybook Lane, a nursery-rhyme-themed village in Dairyville, as well as a 600-seat opera house which is used by schools, clubs and non-profit organizations throughout the year, and which has nightly screenings of family-friendly films during Christmas in Dairyville. Alpenrose Field (comprised of three ball diamonds) hosts spring, summer and fall baseball and softball games, and for over 25 years has been the host of the Little League Softball World Series. Circuit d'Alpenrose, one of only 20 velodrome tracks in the United States and one of the steepest, draws one of the largest velodrome crowds in North America for the annual Alpenrose Challenge, under the long-standing stewardship of the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association and the thousands of its committed members. The Dairy Community Land also contains a quarter-midget race car track where youth regional and national competitions are held under the governance and caretaking of the Portland Quarter Midget Racing Association. Alpenrose's 4-H Discovery Farm, which is used by 4-H, is located on the Dairy Community Land and provides local children with hands-on experience in animal husbandry and gardening. All events hosted by Alpenrose on the Dairy Community Land are open to the public pursuant to the spirit of the Cadonau family legacy."
This article will be updated later when more information is available. You can read a previous story about Alpenrose here.