Happy Canada Day ! Closed on Fri­day

Bot­tled milk is Back!

Stanstead Journal - - FRONT PAGE - Victoria Vanier, Ayer's Cliff

When it comes to one of the most re­cent new busi­nesses to open in this re­gion, ‘ev­ery­thing old is new again’! La Pinte, an ar­ti­sanal milk bot­tling fa­cil­ity that has opened up shop in the for­mer bowling al­ley in Ayer’s Cliff, has been get­ting a lot

of at­ten­tion for its unique prod­ucts: spe­cialty milks which are sold in thick, at­trac­tive glass bot­tles.

Ear­lier in June, the three young own­ers of La Pinte, all raised in the Eastern Town­ships, spoke with the Stanstead Journal about their in­no­va­tive and in­ter­est­ing com­pany.

“Remi and I were raised to­gether on the farm. We had fun run­ning after the cows in the pas­ture,” said Pas­cal Valade, who grew up on his par­ent’s farm in Bald­win Mills. “I lived in Sher­brooke but my grand­par­ents had a farm in Way’s Mills,” said Remi Ducharme. “I didn’t grow up on a farm; I was born and raised in Wind­sor. We lived near the cheese fac­tory in Wind­sor and we ate their cheese all week,” said Dany Rouleau. “We be­longed to three fam­i­lies where milk was al­ways present on the ta­ble.”

Asked to de­scribe their busi­ness, Remi ex­plained: “We are a dairy plant with three main prod­ucts: Jersey milk, or­ganic cow’s milk and choco­late milk. We’ll prob­a­bly be sell­ing sheep’s milk too, in a few months, and even­tu­ally cream.”

The Jersey milk, all lo­cally sourced as is their or­ganic milk, comes with three dif­fer­ent milk fat per­cent­ages, 1 %, 2 % and 3.8 % which, in­ci­den­tally, is fan­tas­tic in cold cof­fees. “We work with Jersey cows be­cause they’re pretty amaz­ing. Their milk has more but­ter­fat (around 5 %), and it con­tains more pro­tein. Even the 1 % milk tastes thicker and richer be­cause of that,” said Mr. Ducharme. “And this area is known for its Jersey cows,” added Mr. Rouleau. La Pinte’s choco­late milk comes in two va­ri­eties, ei­ther or­ganic or Jersey. “We don’t put any ar­ti­fi­cial flavours in our choco­late milk. And when we have cream, it won’t have any ad­di­tives like guar gum,” said Mr. Valade.

An­other unique as­pect of this small scale milk pro­cess­ing op­er­a­tion is its use of glass bot­tles. “The glass bot­tle is big for us,” said Remi, a Univer­sité de Sher­brooke Mar­ket­ing grad­u­ate. “It’s bet­ter for the en­vi­ron­ment, we can re-use the same bot­tle twenty to thirty times, and it’s bet­ter for the taste. Pas­cal and I were raised on the farm and used to drink milk from the bulk tank. After that we could taste the plas­tic in store milk.”

To make sure peo­ple bring their ‘emp­ties’ back to where they bought their milk, there is a $2 de­posit fee per bot­tle. Hefty as it sounds, that $2 may not be high enough. “We re­ally en­cour­age peo­ple to bring the bot­tles back for their re­fund. Since we started, we’re not get­ting all the bot­tles back,” ad­mit­ted Remi. That’s not hard to be­lieve: the old-fash­ioned bot­tles, even with their mod­ern let­ter­ing, seem to bring back mem­o­ries of sim­pler, less com­pli­cated times. And, I’m just guess­ing, a bou­quet of wild flow­ers would prob­a­bly look pretty good in one.

As they were plan­ning their busi­ness, the three friends vis­ited small dairy plants in On­tario and New Eng­land. “It’s a small com­mu­nity of dairy busi­nesses us­ing glass bot­tles, so we work to­gether,” said Remi. “There are only big play­ers in milk in Que­bec right now, so we think it could be more like the beer in­dus­try,” added Pas­cal.

The La Pinte own­ers, be­sides us­ing only lo­cal milk and only sell­ing lo­cally, also like work­ing with other lo­cal com­pa­nies, sell­ing some of their prod­ucts in their dairy plant store- front along with their bot­tled milks. “We work with Ayer’s Cliff’s Boucherie Face de Boeuf, sell­ing their prod­ucts in our store while they sell our milk in theirs,” said Pas­cal. “The Lai­terie de Coat­i­cook sells our choco­late milk in their store­front. We don’t want to com­pete with lo­cal com­pa­nies, and they know it. We’ll never make ice cream, but we sell Coat­i­cook ice cream at our shop,” said Remi.

Asked if it’s a lot of work to get a busi­ness like La Pinte up and run­ning, Remi laughed, say­ing: “Yes, we work pretty hard. I work full time with the com­pany but Dany and Pas­cal work part-time here be­cause they still work at other jobs. But it’s re­ally great to see the busi­ness grow and to see peo­ple happy with the prod­uct.”

La Pinte’s fresh bot­tled milk can be found, be­sides at the dairy plant on West­mount Street, in Ayer’s Cliff, in stores in Ayer’s Cliff, Coat­i­cook, Comp­ton, East­man, Ma­gog and Sher­brooke

Sit­ting in the store­front of La Pinte’s dairy plant are (l. to r.): Dany Rouleau, Pas­cal Valade and Remi Ducharme. The ta­bles in the store were made from the old bowling lanes.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.