Farm-fresh milk, cheese and other foods left on the front porch before dawn may be an idea from a bygone era — except when a pandemic hits.
The month of March — when the majority of Utahns were staying home and limiting their trips to the grocery store — was the ideal time for Andrew and Samantha Stolworthy to launch Wasatch Milk.
The dairy delivery business serves residents in Salt Lake County and Park City and fills the milk delivery void created last year, when Winder Farms ended its home delivery service after a 139-year run.
Customers can get the basics like milk, eggs, bread and cheese delivered each week. But they also can select from a large menu of other products — from bagels and salsa to coffee and yogurt — the vast majority made by small Utah food entrepreneurs.
“A lot of them are small businesses impacted by the pandemic,” said Samantha, as she describes the bake-and-serve pies from Grapefruit & Thyme in Provo and creamy Milk Honey Yogurt locally sourced from Redmond Farm in Utah County. “I would say our business definitely helped them along through a lot of the pandemic because we’ve had so much consistent business.”
The milkman really does deliver.
The couple said they were slated to begin deliveries in April but with the pandemic and shutdown of many business operations, they launched ahead of schedule and have enjoyed a steady stream of customers since.
During the first two months of operation, Wasatch Milk gained about 100 customers a week, primarily through word of mouth, and had to purchase more delivery trucks.
While employees deliver during the cover of night, this is not how grandma got milk delivery. Wasatch Milk uses an online system that allows customers to place orders, make changes, or even skip a week.
Milk is $2.50 for a half gallon, a little more than grocery stores because it’s a premium product and comes in returnable plastic containers, which have a longer lifespan than glass.
There are no contracts or minimum orders. Customers pay a weekly delivery of $1.95 for orders over $8.50 and $2.95 for smaller orders.
Andrew Stolworthy is well-versed in dairy deliveries, having spent 10 years running a similar operation in Boise as well as his own dairy in Burley, Idaho.
His experience is one of the reasons Rosehill Dairy in Hyrum reached out about collaborating and expanding into the underserved areas of the Wasatch Front. Rosehill has been processing, bottling and delivering milk to customers in Cache, Weber, Morgan and Davis Counties since 1989.
“Rosehill called me specifically and said, ‘Hey, you know, nobody’s doing delivery in Salt Lake Valley,” Andrew recalled. “We’d love to have you come here and sell our products’.”
The timing couldn’t have been better.
As national news stories began appearing about dairy farms dumping excess milk near the beginning of the pandemic, the Stolworthys said, they saw demand increase, and now receive milk from Rosehill Dairy three times a week.
And business keeps growing.
For example, when Wasatch Milk initially began working with The Bagel Den in Heber City, it ordered 200 bagels. Today, the company delivers 700 to 800 per week.
The Stolworthys say they could sustain approximately 3,000 customers each week — which would allow them to continue adding products.
“We really pride ourselves on a family, community aspect of our business,” Andrew said. “I want to make sure everybody gets what they love with high quality and good value for everyone.”
Heather L. King owns www.slclunches.com and can be found on social media @slclunches.