Smooth operators: Clermont dairy opens own creamery
Process produces milk with more nutrients, longer shelf life, different taste
Brandee A. Thomas
October 5, 2011
Since cloning miniature versions of their Holsteins wasn’t an option, Scott and Jennifer Glover found another way to get milk with that fresh “squeezed” taste to their customers all over Hall County.
Their solution was to open Mountain Fresh Creamery in Clermont, where they take the milk from their dairy farm and turn it into customer-ready products.
“It’s 100 percent of what the cow gives you, we don’t take anything away. We don’t have to add back vitamins A or D to it like most conventional milk that you buy at the store because we use a low-temperature pasteurization,” said Jennifer Glover, co-owner of the creamery and Glo-Crest Dairy.
“We only pasteurize to 145 degrees (Fahrenheit). Our milk is pasteurized, but non-homogenized. That’s where the fat particles are left whole and the cream rises to the top, so you have to shake well every time (you pour some).”
Since low-temperature pasteurization leaves the fat particles whole, that makes the milk more easily digestible, Scott Glover says. It also leaves “a lot of the good bacteria” in the milk.
The creamery and has been up and running for just shy of two months, but the Glovers have owned the dairy farm for 11 years.
“The dairy business is something I grew up with. I’m a fourth-generation dairy farmer in this area,” said Scott Glover, co-owner.
“We’re just small dairies. Dairy is getting like everything else — it’s going to big business like the chicken industry, hog industry and all that.
“If you can’t operate on a shoestring budget, then you’re not going to make it. We were looking for ways we could stay in the dairy business up here.”
Opening the storefront at 6615 Cleveland Highway in Clermont, which is where all of the Mountain Fresh products are processed, also was an opportunity for the Glovers to showcase their “high-quality” milk.
Prior to opening the creamery, the Glovers’ dairy farm has been the recipient of many awards including a Cream of the Crop award for the last eight years.
“We sell our milk to a co-op that serves Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi. When we sell to the co-op, our milk gets mixed in with milk from other farms,” Jennifer Glover said.
“It would get hauled somewhere and might sit on the truck for a while. Then they process it, bottle it and it might sit on another truck for a while. We said we have too high of a quality product to keep doing this. We knew we had a high-quality product, but we wanted our community to be able to try that product.
“More people are wanting to buy local and to know where there food is coming from. Our motto is, ‘Twenty-four hours from cow to you.’ The milk you’re drinking for supper that night was in our cow on the farm that morning. That’s what I call fresh.”
To get that fresh milk, the couple’s 85 cows are milked twice a day. The milk gets pumped onto a refrigerated tanker truck before it makes the six-mile trip to the creamery, where it gets processed.
“We are usually processing something about five or six days a week,” Scott Glover said.
Besides whole, low-fat and all-natural chocolate milk, Mountain Fresh also produces ice cream, buttermilk and butter.
Mountain Fresh products can be purchased at the creamery, which is open everyday and features a window over-looking the processing area, or they can be purchased at Jaemor Farmers Market in Alto or the J&J Foods locations in Gainesville.
“We’re not out here to compete with any of the conventional grocery store milks. It’s a different product and it has a different taste to it. It’s a lot creamier,” Jennifer Glover said.
“A lot of people can drink this non-homogenized milk that are lactose intolerant or have some allergies to milk. We have had people come in and say that they hadn’t been able to drink milk in forever, but they’re able to drink ours.”
Becky Whitlock, a Mountain Fresh customer, says that the milk tastes, “Just like the old-fashioned stuff.”
“The shelf-life of non-homogenized milk is a little higher than other milks,” Jennifer Glover says.
“For our products, it’s anywhere from 18 to 22 days. When you get it the day that it’s fresh, you can have milk for three weeks.”
Although they don’t give their cows growth hormones, the Glovers say their milk isn’t in short supply.
“Scott is very passionate about taking good care of his cows. When a cow is taken care of and feels good, it produces more milk. Our cows produce a lot of milk,” Jennifer Glover said.
“We can bottle about 500 to 600 gallons of milk a day.”
Taking care of their cows means providing access to fresh water at all times, providing protection from the elements when desired and plenty of grass to nibble on.
“They have access to pasture at all times. They graze outside because that’s the way God intended,” Jennifer Glover said.
“And we only give antibiotics when a cow’s life is in danger, but that milk never goes into the tank (with the rest of the milk). It is tested to 99.9 percent (to make sure it’s antibiotic free before use).”
Once they’ve sufficiently established their customer-base out of their creamery, the Glovers may set their sights on new ventures — like changing public perceptions of “happy hour.”
Instead of tossing back alcoholic beverages, if the Glovers have their way, folks will be raising glasses of milk — non- homogenized of course.
“We had our grand opening (about two weeks ago) and we served milk and cookies,” Jennifer Glover said.
“It’s a new spin on happy hour.”