Our Cow Molly bottling Made in Sheffield magic

Becky Thornton in the ice cream parlour at Our Cow Mollys base at Cliffe House Farm, Dungworth.
Becky Thornton in the ice cream parlour at Our Cow Mollys base at Cliffe House Farm, Dungworth.
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It’s about double the cost of supermarket milk - yet Our Cow Molly sales are up while hundreds of dairy farms close every year.

How is that possible?

Farmer Eddie Andrew says it’s about making people care about the difference between two pints of identical-looking white liquid - and that’s down to being ‘Made in Sheffield’.

The farm near Stannington he runs with brother Dan and extended family was the first food producer to earn the world-famous Made in Sheffield badge eight years ago.

And as soon as they put the logo on tubs of ice cream, sold at the Lyceum, “sales went through the roof.”

Today it is front and centre on absolutely everything - bottles, vans, staff clothing - and Our Cow Molly is possibly the organisation’s proudest member.

Farmer Eddie Andrew at Our Cow Molly.

Farmer Eddie Andrew at Our Cow Molly.

Being ‘Made in Sheffield’ tells a story of freshness, nutritional value, animal welfare and local business excellence, Eddie says.

And that is why people pay.

He added: “We wanted to put ‘Made in Sheffield’ on our products and found out it was protected by people who are passionate about promoting Sheffield. That was something we wanted to be part of.

“Our application was unexpected, but they realised we couldn’t be more Sheffield - from the grass to the milking to the distribution. Even our bottles and labels are made by local firms.

The milk processing plant at Our Cow Molly

The milk processing plant at Our Cow Molly

“I soon realised it was a massive selling point, especially after the horse meat scandal. Buy a supermarket pint of milk and you’ve no idea where it’s come from. You can visit Our Cow Molly and see the cows.”

The business, based at Cliffe House Farm, Dungworth, was called Hector Andrew & Co, after Eddie and Dan’s grandfather who is now aged 91.

It became Our Cow Molly in 2009, a name dreamed up by their dad Graham.

Today the firm has 90 cows producing 31,000 pints a week. It carries out 950 doorstep deliveries and sells to 110 shops, cafes and restaurants in Sheffield.

Customers Glen Saint and Jill Swift from Bakewell.

Customers Glen Saint and Jill Swift from Bakewell.

Stannington News, the first stop on the round, can claim to receive the freshest milk in the country, just four hours old.

A £500,000 milking shed, a big investment two years ago, is not yet at capacity, while an ice cream parlour on the farm attracts scores of people on a sunny day.

Eddie said: “We have to get people to value what we do as a dairy farm. People have to understand our story, otherwise milk is milk.”

DAIRY FARMER REFUSING TO RUN WITH THE HERD

How much of a farmer is Eddie Andrew?

Third generation, it’s all he’s ever known. And building it as a business is all-consuming.

Our Cow Molly

Our Cow Molly

Our Cow Molly is a pioneer in the use of social media to promote itself.

Starting nine years ago, Eddie took to Twitter and says it’s invaluable in engaging with customers - who then pressure supermarkets to stock their stuff.

And when the supermarkets approach him, keen to bolster their image, they have to pay his price.

But would he ever do anything else?

“I quite like having the cows in the front field. It’d be weird without them.

“It’s all I have ever known and besides I prefer cows to sheep.”

Made in Sheffield pig farm hogging quality awards

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Bottles in the cold room ready for doorstep deliveries.

Bottles in the cold room ready for doorstep deliveries.

Our Cow Molly reusable bottle.

Our Cow Molly reusable bottle.

The old business name Hector Andrew & Co.

The old business name Hector Andrew & Co.

Our Cow Molly milk processing equipment.

Our Cow Molly milk processing equipment.

In the field with grass-fed milkers at Our Cow Molly.

In the field with grass-fed milkers at Our Cow Molly.