Once upon a time, milkmen were a daily sight in Canadian communities. Throughout much of the 20th century they carried milk and other dairy products in horse-drawn wagons and later trucks to homes and businesses everywhere. Then the big companies that controlled milk and dairy products began to cut costs. And by the mid-1980s the milkmen had vanished.
That may still be the case in most Canadian cities and towns, but here in Revelstoke — and now in neighbouring Salmon Arm — the milkman has returned.
Tim Dolan has been delivering milk, cream and other organic and free-range products to homes throughout Revelstoke for the last seven years and has gained quite a following — about 260 regular customers, including The Modern, Sangha Bean and La Baguette as well as the Woolsey Creek restaurant.
“In the beginning it was just going to be a part-time thing but it very quickly became a full-time job,” he said as he drove through the streets of Southside.
Dolan initially envisioned his company (formerly called Comfort Zone but now known as Dolan Home Delivery) as a strictly dairy-delivery business. But he rapidly came to realize that the public wanted access to organic vegetables and meat from unmedicated, free-range animals that were not available at Revelstoke grocery stores.
All his products are produced in this region although, sadly, none are from Revelstoke. The milk and cream he delivers is produced at D Dutchmen Dairy in Sicamous while organic milk and Gouda and Feta cheeses come from Gort’s Gouda in Salmon Arm. His eggs are from MOuntain Morning Farms in Salmon Arm. He also sells organic, free-range chickens and turkeys (the turkeys have to be tasted to be believed) as well as a range of Live for Tomorrow brand environmentally friendly products, produced in Vancouver, in glass reusable bottles.
“For the most part everything I sell is from this region,” he said. “I subscribe to the 100-mile idea, which is gathering popularity.”
For Dolan, one of the interesting side benefits of selling high quality, locally produced products is the fact “I don’t have to lie about anything I sell — they’re all top quality.”
His company’s growing success is allowing him to begin thinking about the possibility of slowly expanding his range of operation.
“I like to think it might be possible to expand to Enderby, Armstrong, Vernon and maybe even Kelowna,” he said. “But that’s a long-term goal.”
Whether he expands his business or not, Tim Dolan has gained a lot of appreciative clients in Revelstoke where he delivers on Tuesdays and Fridays. (He delivers in Salmon Arm on Mondays and Wednesdays)
“He’s awesome,” said Iris MacDonald when he dropped off a bottle of organic milk at her home. “I’m so glad he provides this service.”