Today, I spent some time talking with Loren Kauffman, a neighbor who has recently introduced a new business to our community. The Reedsville Creamery has been a dream of Loren’s for some time, and over the past year or so, he and his family have completed the legwork required to begin pasteurizing and processing whole milk products at his family farm. You can buy white, chocolate, and strawberry flavors from local retailers, markets, and grocery stores throughout Central Pennsylvania as well as right on the farm at the farm store.
Loren’s raw milk comes from his father’s herd of cattle located approximately 50 feet from the creamery’s processing facility resulting in a quality and freshness that is hard to reproduce by other suppliers. His micro-processing facility bottles approximately 300 gallons of milk per day in old-fashioned returnable and sustainable glass pint, quart, and half gallon bottles.
The creamery’s milk is pasteurized, but is not homogenized, resulting in a heavy layer of cream that floats in the neck of each bottle, providing a blast from the past for those of a certain maturity and a great new experience for the less experienced. This layer of cream can be used for cooking, baking, or as the perfect coffee creamer. For those of you who are not interested in using the cream on its own, a simple shake of the bottle before each pour will result in a superior product that I would wager is better than any milk you have ever tasted.
Loren shared with me that the federal regulatory process to assure quality and purity of product is stringent, requiring a daily, weekly, and quarterly inspection process. He finds the regulatory aspect to be less intimidating than his early expectations. In fact, he believes the process, as well as the advice that the inspection personnel have provided throughout the development and start-up period, has been very valuable and has assisted Loren with providing an enhanced product to his customers and one that he is very proud of.
The Reedsville Creamery has plans for growth and product expansion to include ice cream, 2% milk, skim milk, and heavy cream. My favorite part of Loren’s expansion dream is to take his distribution into other regional communities using a nontraditional approach to business growth that will focus on the development of micro-processing facilities within each region, thus maintaining a local perspective and the use of local raw milk.
I have begun to use Reedsville Creamery milk not only at Cow Hill Cottage but also at Stonefly Café http://stoneflycafe.com. My staff appreciates the high quality of the product, and I am inspired by Loren’s dream of quality local dairy products that have previously been unavailable to me even though I live within a farming community with a rich history of dairy farming.
I hope that with Reedsville Creamery’s and other local food purveyor’s success, others will follow, and a diverse and robust local food community will develop in support of a simple life well lived.
Did you know?
Whole milk has only 3.5% milk fat, making it 96.5% fat-free.
A cow produces an average of 6.3 gallons of milk daily, which is 2, 300 gallons each year, and 350,000 glasses of milk in a lifetime.
The greatest amount of milk produced in one year was 59,298 pounds by a Holstein cow named Robthom Sue Paddy.