Miles Ezell was a christian business leader who founded Purity Dairies and was a very generous benefactor to his community of Nashville, TN as well as a benevolent steward of the resources God gave him. Starting from very humble beginnings in 1926 by renting some cows and equipment, Miles Ezell became the largest dairy proprietor in Davidson County, Tennessee. Then, through the wise stewardship of his son Miles Ezell Jr and now grandson Mark Ezell, Purity Dairies now generates more than $170M in annual revenue while maintaining a commitment to run the business with strong family values, a Christian ministry and supporting the community. For the past 50+ years, the Ezell Foundation has funded many important causes, missions, ministries and initiatives. Miles Ezell not only excelled financially and was a mighty man of God, he also raised a great family who remains a lamp shining on the city of Nashville and the surrounding communities to this day.
It all began for Miles Ezell in 1926 when he was offered to rent a milking operation from a wealthy local doctor. Despite significant competition at the time, Miles took on the challenge and through hard work, tenacity, a commitment to quality and a focus on innovation, his dairy survived the Great Depression and World War II and outlasted his competitors. He was a pioneer in the use of refrigerated tanks on dairy farms and vacuum pasteurization. His packaging breakthroughs of non-wax milk cartons followed by the yellow plastic jug helped Purity Dairies remain a leader in quality, freshness and delivery. Miles also marketed his products heavily and brought some well recognized characters to Purity Dairy advertising campaigns, including Ernest P Worrell posing the registered trademark line, “You know what I mean, Vern?”
In 1961, with $1,000, Miles established the Ezell Foundation and it has been blessing ever since, supporting such ministries as Youth Encouragement Services and Agape Nashville as well as helping build Christian based institutions of higher education such as Lipscomb University. Along with his business and his family, giving back was a very important part of his life. Miles once wrote, “Work hard, make money and spend wisely. Share your earthly goods as well as your time and talent with those in need.” He not only gave of the talents God entrusted to him, but he also gave of him time, raising a wonderful family that has carried on a legacy of biblical principles.
In a letter to his family, Miles Ezell wrote, “In order to succeed, think big, dream, work hard, and be honest.” Advice coming from the christian business founder of Purity Dairies who practiced what he preached.