The return of the milkman: Home-delivered milk makes a comeback

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by Claudia Coffey

WHAS11.com

Posted on October 11, 2012 at 5:50 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 11 at 7:17 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- The return of the milkman - milk delivered right to  your doorstep is making a comeback.

You may or may not know fresh milk in glass bottles used to be delivered by the milkman directly to your doorstep.  Now one local company with a very recognizable name is bringing a taste of nostalgia back to Louisville.

In 1867, Bob Ehrler's great-grandfather, Joseph, delivered milk from the family farm with a horse and buggy. Flash forward to 2012, the concept of home-delivered milk is making a comeback.
 
"I have always had that in the back of my head that i was interested in dairy. And this seemed like a good time to do it. People are interested in local foods and we have a name people remember in dairy," Bob Ehrler said.

Bob is bringing back the family business with a modern twist.

"Home milk delivery that's considered old school, but local food is new. So, we have combined the two," Bob said.

Bob said he calls it "the return of the milk man," and four months ago he decided to see if there was a market for home-delivered milk, glass bottle and all.

"I think the glass bottle goes naturally with home delivery. Glass is the perfect container for milk . It tastes better . It holds the temperature better," Ehrler said.  

Twice a week two dairy farms in Western Kentucky delivery to his warehouse in Butchertown. The milk, which is all natural, is stored in a cooler then delivered three times a week.
 
"We put it on your doorstep in our cooler and you put your empty bottles in the cooler, and we pick them up. So it's convenient and easy, and I think the easiest way to get quality dairy product,"he said. 

When Bob started the business back in June, he said he had only 10 customers. Now he has 140. Last month alone, they delivered 800 half gallons of milk.

"Our target was to add 30 customers per month and we are a little ahead of our target. We haven't even begun to tap into the market. We think there is a lot of opportunity," Ehrler said.

Believe it or not this is Bob's side business. His real job is an Environmental Attorney,
but he said he has a passion for the family business and buying local is a passion he believes the public shares.

"We think there are a lot of people looking for their connection to their food. Having the  milk man put their delivery on their porch provides that connection to their food they don't get. You can see it just makes people feel good. They like the idea of the milk man," he said.

Ehrler has also branched out into other items; home-delivered cheeses, jams, eggs and maple syrup. All made right in Kentucky.

To find out more on home delivery go to www.ehrlersmicrodairy.com or call 502-409-9393.

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