Local Vendor Profile: Mountain Dairy

Local Vendor Profile: Mountain Dairy

Feb 28th 2020

Does your family have deep local roots? The Stearns family has been on their farm in Mansfield for 11 generations, since Boaz and Lydia Stearns began growing mulberries for the silk industry in 1772. The family switched to dairying in 1871, and haven’t looked back.

Today Mountain Dairy manages a milking herd of about 500 cows, and has about 35 employees. Many of those employees are descendants of Boaz and Lydia, including president Craig Stearns. Craig’s background, as a dairy nutritionist, speaks to the truly “bale to bottle” nature of their operation: the family oversees and controls every step of the milk’s production.

In fact, Mountain Dairy is one of just a handful of dairies in the country labeled producer-handlers, meaning they grow the feed themselves, raise and milk the cows, bottle and market the milk all at one location. All of which means the jugs of milk can be landing on the shelves of Elm City Market just hours after it came from the cow!

In October, Mountain Dairy acquired a second farm, with an eye toward expanding into new products, but for now, they offer a full line of milk, cream and half and half, an indulgent chocolate milk, and a seasonally-produced eggnog.

"When it comes to tradition, Mountain Dairy takes the cake," says Hannah Pimenta, assistant manager for Elm City Market. "For more than a century the Stearns family has been raising healthy, hormone-free cattle to provide the most high-quality, simply delicious milks, creams, and seasonal specialty products. Happy healthy cows that are not forced to produce unhealthy amounts of dairy result in higher cream and protein content. The Stearns family takes great pride in their land and they use this land to provide healthy feed for the animals they farm. Local is a lifestyle, and Mountain Dairy is the perfect example of living respectfully and responsibly off of the land. When you farm with care, everybody wins."

Elm City Market is a locally-owned grocery committed to offering the natural and organic items that contribute to sustainable economic development in our region. We encourage our customers to join us on this mission. Shopping local means creating more jobs, investing in the development of our community, and enjoying better quality products. You can order Mountain Dairy’s skim milk, 1% milk, 2% milk, and whole milk from Elm City Market’s online delivery service, or find them in the dairy department of the store.

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