Cream­ery part­ners with Home­town Har­vest

Firms will de­liver each other’s prod­ucts to re­duce over­lap of their routes

Baltimore Sun - - NEWS - By Jeff Barker je­barker@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/sun­j­eff­barker

South Moun­tain Cream­ery, the Fred­er­ick County pro­ducer of meat and dairy prod­ucts, is part­ner­ing with a pro­duce sup­plier to ex­pand home de­liv­ery ser­vice of fresh farm goods — a con­cept that has taken off in re­cent years.

Ef­fec­tive im­me­di­ately, cus­tomers within 90 miles of Fred­er­ick can re­ceive de­liv­ery of Home­town Har­vest’s pro­duce on shared routes with South Moun­tain’s milk, eggs, beef, bread and other prod­ucts. Home­town Har­vest is a Fred­er­ick-based com­pany that of­fers veg­eta­bles, fruit and herbs.

Home de­liv­ery of dairy and other farm items has be­come in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar in Mary­land and other states.

“I think there is an ap­peal to re­con­nect­ing with a sim­pler time,” said Tony Br­usco, founder of Home­town Har­vest. “There is a nos­tal­gia as­pect to this.” South Moun­tain Cream­ery will de­liver Home­town Har­vest’s pro­duce, and Home­town Har­vest will de­liver South Moun­tain’s meat and dairy prod­ucts.

He says South Moun­tain Cream­ery and Home­town Har­vest also ap­peal to peo­ple drawn to buy­ing lo­cal prod­ucts.

“There is con­cern with food safety. Peo­ple want a closer con­nec­tion to where their food comes from,” Br­usco said. “With Home­town Har­vest, our home de­liv­ery is our main in­come stream.”

Home­town Har­vest has its own farm and works with about 200 farm­ers, pro­duc­ers and bak­ers. It has been de­liv­er­ing to nearly 2,000 cus­tomers.

South Moun­tain, which grazes cows and opened a dairy pro­cess­ing fa­cil­ity in 2001, de­liv­ers to more than 8,500 homes.

Now “both com­pa­nies can cut down on their car­bon foot­print, with ei­ther one or the other [but not both] mak­ing the de­liv­ery,” South Moun­tain Cream­ery said in a news re­lease.

South Moun­tain sells to farm mar­kets and restau­rants and of­fers prod­ucts at its own farm store in Mid­dle­town. But owner Ben Sow­ers said home de­liv­ery ac­counts for 80 per­cent to 85 per­cent of rev­enue.

The com­pany de­liv­ers to cus­tomers in Mary­land, North­ern Vir­ginia, West Vir­ginia and Penn­syl­va­nia.

The com­pany’s milk is de­liv­ered in glass bot­tles. Sow­ers be­lieves that the pack­ag­ing holds sym­bolic mean­ing for many cus­tomers.

“When most peo­ple think of glass-bot­tle milk, they think of fresh milk,” he said.

South Moun­tain be­gan de­liv­er­ing in 2001. Its first de­liv­er­ies came out of the back of a Ford Ex­plorer. The com­pany got its 1,000th home de­liv­ery cus­tomer three years later.

Farms in many states de­liver dairy prod­ucts, veg­eta­bles and meats di­rectly to homes. An in­creas­ing num­ber also of­fer pre­pared items such as soups.

BAL­TI­MORE SUN ME­DIA GROUP

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