Milking It for Coffee Lovers
In all of its locations lately, Mudhouse customers have been noticing, and commenting, that their lattes are seeming creamier.
There’s a reason. “We’ve been trying to get a local dairy option for years,” says Nick Cardoni, director of operations. And now they have successfully done so, thanks to Shenandoah Family Farms, a farmer-owned cooperative of 21 small Virginia dairies, including Sunrise Dairy and Trissel Farms in Harrisonburg, Sunset View Dairy in Dayton, and Mar-Bil Farms in Mount Crawford. In 2013, the farmers were able to purchase a 142,000-foot former Unilever ice cream plant located in Hagerstown, Maryland—and that is where the milk is processed.
This summer, a group of Mudhouse’s baristas, bakers, and management were able to tour a few of the dairies—to get up close and personal with the cows producing the very milk that they are steaming, frothing, and otherwise using to complement their coffee drinks. “It was just fortuitous,” says Cardoni. “A representative from Shenandoah Family Farms came in, and then Mudhouse management did some taste testing. The aroma is wonderful, the quality is better, the price is great. And we feel better about where we’re getting it.”