Wright Dairy is a dairy farm and market operating at Canebreak Farm on U. S. Highway 431 near Alexandria in Calhoun County. The dairy's milk, ice cream and cheese products are sold to several restaurants and markets in the Birmingham area, and visitors to the farm store can buy various organic and handmade products from other producers. Wright Dairy formerly operated a café and ice cream parlor in Inverness.
Milton and Ruth Wright began farming on land near Ragland in St Clair County in the late 1940s, calling the enterprise Riverbend Farm. In 1947 they began selling cow's milk to a creamery in Boaz and then, at the suggestion of a local doctor, established a bottling plant to distribute their milk commercially. The Milton's delivered pasteurized milk and buttermilk to homes and schools in the Ragland area until 1953 when grocery stores and cheap automobiles forced them out of the market. They continued to wholesale their milk, boosting revenues by increasing the herd with Holsteins.
In 1977 the Wright's son, David purchased the 200-acre Canebrake Farm on Cane Creek. The farm came with its own established herd of Holsteins, foraging on corn and sorghum, supplemented with commercial feed. In the 1990s, facing insurmountable competition from much-larger commercial dairies, the Wrights decided to reduce the size of their operation and to return to a traditional grass-fed herd. In February 2000 the first bottle of milk since the mid-1950s was produced at Wright Dairy. They opened a farm store to sell their milk as well as various Amish-made dairy products. In 2001 they began offering tours of the farm.
On September 1, 2006, Carla Manning, granddaughter of Milton and Ruth, opened a retail outlet, café and ice cream parlor in the Inverness Heights Market shopping center at 5037 U.S. Highway 280 in Inverness. The cafe, which closed in 2009, featured a selection from any of 46 flavors of "super premium" ice cream as well as sandwiches and daily plate lunch specials.
In 2008 the dairy partnered with Corey Hinkel, former owner of Abigail's Bakery in Anniston to begin producing artisanal cheeses from the dairy's milk. As the enterprise expanded, they adopted the name Yellow Moon Cheese Company to brand their four mainstay cheese products: Red Hill Cheddar, Canebreak Gouda, Piedmont Fontina, and an asiago-style cheese named "Wanda" for the dairy's former star milk producer.
- Davis, Lisa (December 23, 2009) "Wright Dairy's gourmet cheeses are complex and one-of-a-kind." Anniston Star
- Poole, Carson (March 24, 2010) "Learning About Cheesemaking and Raw Milk from Two Dairymen in Alabama." Serious Eats
- Taylor, Beverly (June 23, 2010) "The Wright cheese: Alexandria dairy gets it right when it comes to quality curds." Birmingham News