You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
Glen and Bron Claridge took over the milk business last week from founders Bryan and Bethan Moore and have hit the ground running.
“We got the cows last Friday, and we milked last Friday,” Mrs Claridge said.
“We’ve started off ahead already. Ahead of the game because Bethan and Bryan have got such a good name with their milk.”
The business provides pasteurised full-cream milk in a glass bottle, which can be delivered to the door. In a further point of difference, the calves are left in the paddocks with their mothers.
Mr and Mrs Claridge decided to buy the business to make the most of the lifestyle block on Bulleids Rd where they have recently moved.
“Glen’s always wanted a wee farm, and then wanting to maximise the potential from the wee farm, because sometimes lifestyle blocks can be a black hole for money … and Glen’s dad and grandfather both did milking for a time,” Mrs Claridge said.
“Owning our own business is exciting too, and that we’re our own bosses.”
Mrs Claridge has resigned from her job as Enviroschools facilitator but will continue to teach part-time, while Mr Claridge will continue to work part-time with shed building company Totalspan for now.
So far the Claridges, along with daughter Amelia (9), are enjoying the new challenge.
“It’s busy but great. It’s not starting from zero. Everyone knows the product and loves it, and loves the story behind it. Just that it’s farm-fresh, it’s local. We love local.
“We’ve tried to go local as much as possible with building our plant, and suppliers and things like that.”
Home deliveries were continuing in the wider Oamaru area, with more than 100 bottles delivered on Monday and the same or more on Thursday.
“Amelia helped with the first deliveries, and she thought she was very special,” Mrs Claridge said.
The Claridges will continue with The Natural Dairy’s regular presence at the Oamaru Farmers’ Market on a Sunday.
People wanting to arrange or know more about milk deliveries could see them at the Farmers Market, phone Mrs Claridge on 27 537-0043, or send a message through The Natural Dairy Facebook page, she said.
- Ashley Smyth