Creamery partners with Hometown Harvest
Firms will deliver each other’s products to reduce overlap of their routes
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.