Sunday, November 27, 2022

Bunker Hill Organic Creamery opens in Argyle

By Gordon Woodworth, Chronicle News Editor

Lifelong friends Dan Richards and Kyle Depew of Argyle have opened Bunker Hill Organic Creamery in Cossayuna.

Mr. Depew said “there is a huge hole in the market for local organic, fresh-to-the-store milk. And with fluctuating milk prices, there is no price stability. With Bunker Hill Organic Creamery, we are now able to control our own prices and what we sell our milk for.”

“I’m excited for people to try our milk,” Mr. Richards said.

They expect their final organic certification this week, and plan to start producing 300 gallons a day of organic whole white, chocolate and maple milk, that last flavored with real, local maple syrup.

The milk is produced in such a way that it will come with cream on the top, like in olden days, they said.

Mr. Richards and his wife Erin own the nearly 800-acre Rich View Farms in Argyle and Cossayuna. They own 280 acres and lease another 500, Mr. Richards said. They have 500 cows, mostly Holsteins.

Rich View Farms was certified organic in 2008. The milk is produced by antibiotic-free, hormone-free cows fed with natural grains and feed (no synthetic fertilizer, no herbicides or pesticides). Sick cows treated with antibiotics are removed from the milking herd permanently.

Prior to the creating Bunker Hill Organic Creamery, Rich View Farm sold much of its milk wholesale nationwide, bottled under another name. Now they will sell some of their milk to their own Bunker Hill Creamery, a separate business co-owned by Mr. Depew and Mr. Richards.

The two, both 1999 Argyle Central School graduates, have been best friends since pre-school, they said.

To start, the organic milk will be available at their on-farm store on Bunker Hill Road, at Locust Grove and the Lakeside General Store in Argyle, at Four Seasons and the Route 50 Price Chopper in Saratoga, and at Old Saratoga Mercantile on Route 29 in Schuylerville.

Kyle Depew, left, and Dan Richards have started Bunker Hill Organic Creamery in Cossayuna, producing milk produced by cows on Rich View Farms, which is owned by Mr. Richards and his wife Erin. Chronicle photo/Gordon Woodworth

At their own Rich View Farms store, prices are $5 for a half-gallon of the white milk, and $6 for chocolate and maple milk.

“We will be meeting with Price Chopper and Hannaford, and are hoping for a wider distribution as we get rolling,” Mr. Depew said. “The best way to accomplish that is for customers to ask for it.

The creamery’s processing plant was manufactured and set up by Don’s Dairy Supply out of South Kortright in Delaware County, N.Y.

Milk flows directly from a holding tank into a vat pasteurizer that heats it for 30 minutes.

“We heat our milk longer at a lower temperature,” Mr. Richards said. “It disrupts the milk less.”

Mr. Depew said, “It’s more time consuming, but it produces a better taste.”

The milk is cooled and bottled in 67-ounce plastic bottles.

The labels were designed by Black Dog Designs in Glens Falls, and produced by Sheetlabels.com on Pruyn’s Island.

Since the milk is not mixed or otherwise altered, the cream will rise to the top, they said. The bottles will have about three inches of space to allow for shaking before serving.

Unlike some chocolate milks, Bunker Hill’s chocolate has no thickeners, Mr. Depew said, just cocoa, sugar and vanilla that settles to the bottom after bottling.

Info: Bunker Hill Organic Creamery on Facebook or Instagram, or you can email Mr. Depew at kyle@bunkerhillorganic.com.

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