Some sad news on the dairy front this morning. Milk Thistle Farm, a local family-run dairy farm beloved by New York City chefs and Greenmarket shoppers alike, has shuttered after less than a decade in the business, The New York Times reports. The problem stemmed from rising costs — particularly difficult for a small operation in a market dominated by dairy conglomerates.
Milk Thistle Farm’s rich, flavorful milk was used at Momofuku Milk Bar in its cereal milk and soft-serve ice cream, and the Darby chef Alex Guarnaschelli once said of their product, “Their milk is so good you have to drink it privately. Say good night to everyone, go home, shut the blinds and enjoy.”
It’s always a treat to find a high-quality, locally made foodstuff that tastes delicious. There’s no denying that Milk Thistle Farm put out a superior product. Yet their collapse demonstrates that producing a great product just isn’t enough for a small-scale agricultural business. Unfortunately, the industry is effectively run by big corporations that leave little room for independent businesses to thrive. This is one instance where it’s OK to cry over spilled milk.