UK - Success at producing and selling ice cream, including making the world’s fastest scoop, has led an English farm towards a cooperative venture, delivering fresh milk to a Yorkshire city.
Sheffield-based dairy farm and Ice Cream makers at Our Cow Molly are simplifying the supply chain, taking milk straight “from cows to customers” daily.
The enterprise aims to provide a high quality product at a sustainable but competitive price, insulating the farm from price cuts and market volatility.
Customers include universities, coffee shops and family homes, with baristas favouring fresh milk because it provides a better drinking experience.
This is according to Eddie Andrew, who, after finding the ice cream business he set up with his family “too easy”, is currently at the helm of a cooperative venture, to include two other nearby farms.
This will combine 300 cows, including the 100 cow Andrew herd.
Pasture and silage quality are a priority for the Andrews, who try and extend the grazing period when possible.
Farm location and product logo have also played a part in the success, with Eddie emphasising the importance of a good branding to anyone thinking of entering the ice cream business.
“My advice to a dairy farmer looking at making ice cream is that a good logo and branding is so important,” Eddie told TheDairySite.
“Our logo says ice cream to people – even young children that cannot yet read.”
He admits that being so close to a major city has also been helpful, allowing for the farm to become a local attraction, particularly in summer.
Visiting the farm shop is popular. It means the public can see the farm, the cows that make the ice cream and the grass they eat, added Eddie.
“Busy times are through summer when we have queues that go across the yard,” he added.
“I try and sell small tubs as I walk along the queue, but people are usually happy to wait.”
Looking ahead to Christmas, the Our Cow Molly team is prepared for what will probably be one of the biggest weeks of the year. Ice cream proves popular all year round, including a weekly 4000 tub order for the Crucible theatre during pantomime season.
However, the Andrews expect the doorstep milk project to take some time.
Eddie concluded: “Ice cream was easy, milk is going to be a bit more challenging, in terms of promoting it and getting people to appreciate what you’re doing.”