Here in Wisconsin we’ve been happily (and deliciously) celebrating June Dairy Month. Dairy breakfasts, cheese factory tours, ice cream polls—yes, Wisconsinites do love their dairy heritage. And even though many small dairies have given way to corporate, thankfully, there still are family operations successfully defying the “get big or get out.”
Here are premium examples (a few of my favs):
- St. Isidore’s Dairy: Inga Witscher crafts specialty cheddar cheeses from her micro herd of 10 jersey cows.
- Chocolate Shoppe is family-owned since 1962 and churns super-premium ice cream.
- Widmer’s Cheese Cellars is a four-generation factory and store producing traditional Brick and Colby cheese, both of which originated here in Wisconsin.
How to Market Against the Big Guys?
The dairies above are small, highly specialized and quality focused. You won’t find them in big box grocers and their consumers recognize the uniqueness of their brand, meaning they’re willing to pay a little more. These dairies also practice imaginative marketing, a necessity for small business survival.
- Inga Witcher, of St. Isidor’s Dairy, also hosts Around the Farm Table, a PBS food and farming adventure where she champions not only her own product but also those of small farm producers throughout Wisconsin.
- Chocolate Shoppe boasts its low overrun and high butterfat (translate: rich and creamy ice cream) with the unabashed tagline “You want nutrition, eat carrots.”
- Cheesemaker Joe Widmer takes pride in using the same facility, bricks, open vats, brine tanks and traditions his grandfather used in 1922.
Feeling small with your business? Remember the well-spoken words of Basecamp’s Jason Fried: “There’s nothing wrong with staying small. You can do big things with a small team.”
What I’m Working On This Month
Adunate is easing out of the office and into the outdoors—for the summer, that is. For a second year, I’ve done a seasonal lightening of my work load and am spending more time gardening, hiking, kayaking and playing with grandkids. They say it’s good for the soul and the creative mind. I agree!
What I’m Tuned In To This Month
- Wiser Than Me: Julia Louis-Dreyfus wants to know why we don’t hear more from older women so she invites them to her podcast. I love it.
- Strawberry-Coconut Tres Leche Cake: June is dairy and strawberries. Yummm!
- Ixonia: It’s what you get when you randomly choose letters for a town’s name.
- The Teaching of Plants: Beloved author Robin Wall Kimmerer talks Western science and Indigenous knowledge.
Let’s Work Together
Think Adunate might be a good fit for your next project? Give me a holler and we’ll discuss ideas.
Making Room for an Update
I need to clean out before my next printing. Buy these at 40% Sale Price!