By Morgan Pilz, Staff Writer
(Feb. 20, 2020) The old days of having milk delivered to your front door is no longer a piece of history, as Chesapeake Bay Farms has decided to bring back the tradition and then some by creating its own local grocery delivery system.
Owners Daniel and Laura Holland are third generation farmers on the over 70-years-old farm and have decided to bring back the milk delivery system, taking pride in owning what they say is the last dairy farm in Worcester County.
In addition to dairy, the farm has crops and more than 250 animals. Originally, the milk was sent to a dairy distributor, but the Hollands came to realize it would be less expensive and more sustainable for them to process their own products on the farm.
“We were shipping our milk out of state and bringing it back into cheese and ice cream, and we opened the retail outlet in Berlin and we got a demand for wholesale,” Laura Holland said. “The people that were making the product couldn’t keep up. So, we said the only way to make it work is if we made everything here.”
The processing plant was built in 2011, though the Hollands began their delivery service almost three weeks ago.
Holland said she was inspired by the success of global conglomerate Amazon and realized deliveries would help sell products during the slower, winter months.
“For six months a year, from like April to October, we’re slammed because it’s ice cream season,” Holland said. “We figured this would help with milk sales off-season, especially and when it’s really not economical for us to keep our stores open full time because it’s slow.
“We see Amazon and these companies that have taken off because people want the convenience, and we’re the only local milk, so we figured, let’s give it a whirl and see what happens,” she continued. “Especially in our Berlin store. People would call and say, ‘I can’t get over there … is there any way could you just drop by a gallon of milk or some butter?’ We do this especially for the elderly clients. So we figured, let’s just make it official.”
The delivery service has seen positive reviews, the Hollands say.
All of the products made in Chesapeake Bay Farms are FDA certified. Some of the products available for delivery besides milk are cheeses, butter, ice cream, beef, pork, jellies, jams, oysters, crab meat, artisanal breads, honey and, upon receiving FDA approval, yogurt. All products are created at the farm in Pocomoke City with the exception of the breads, which come from a local baker.
In addition, the farm is offering limited edition ice cream flavors only available through delivery and is not sold in the Pocomoke or Berlin stores.
Delivery options range from once a week, every other week, once a month or at specified dates. Currently, the farm can deliver to Pocomoke City, Snow Hill, Fruitland, Salisbury, Willards, Berlin and Ocean Pines, though they do expect to expand into other locations and add even more products available for delivery.
Currently, there are no plans to deliver during the summer season in Ocean City, given how crowded the resort can get, though the Hollands may look into offering deliveries during the off-season, they said.
“In the immediate future … no, and that’s only because we deliver wholesale and we have a lot of wholesale clients in Ocean City, and we fight that traffic in the summer four months a year,” Holland said. “It’s just not cost-effective for us. So we might toy with the idea of [delivering there] offseason.”
For residents in Ocean City, products can be preordered and picked up at the Berlin location.
There is a delivery fee of $5 for orders less than $50. Orders above $50 are delivered without the fee. Supplies arrive in a cooler that is left in front of the customer’s doorstep and can be swapped out for a new one during the next delivery for credit toward future deliveries.
“It’s supporting only local farms and we’re bringing the farmer’s market to you,” Holland said. “We are your only option for local milk.”
To order or see what is available for delivery, visit www.supportlocalcows.com/ or call headquarters between Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 443-373-8487 or the Berlin store at 410-629-1997.