A ride-along with Revelstoke’s very own milkman

This is the kind of image that bounces around inside the brains of Baby Boomers who remember milkmen from their childhoods in the 1950s and ’60s. . By the 1980s, however, milkmen had vanished from almost all Canadian cities. However, the service has been making a comeback in Revelstoke since 2005 thanks to Tim Dolan.

By David F. Rooney

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.”

You can contact Tim through his website at Dolan Home Delivery.

Ever wonder what it’s like to be a milkman? Here are a few photos of Tim Dolan at work:


What can be a friendlier or more peaceful sight than that of a milk man at work. For many people it’s an image that harkens back to their childhood. David F. Rooney photo
When you’re a community’s milk man summer mornings are a good time for milk and other product deliveries. You can wear shorts and you never have to worry about snow, slush and ice. David F. Rooney photo
When you think of the traditional milk man it’s easy to visualize a man in a uniform who delivering bottles of milk and cream to single-family homes. For many Baby Boomers that’s an image from childhood in the 1950s, ’60s and — in a few places — the ’70s. Tim doesn’t wear a uniform and he delivers everywhere, including places like Mount Begbie Manor. David F. Rooney photo
Tim chats for a moment with Mount Begbie Manor resident Lorna Johanson. David F. Rooney photo
Driving through town is pretty much a stop-and-go affair for Tim. He’s up and down constantly as he goes house-to-house. David F. Rooney photo
Tim likes it when his customers leave coolers out for his deliveries. They help keep his products fresh — which is part of the point of getting home delivery, isn’t it? David F. Rooney photo
The refrigerated back of Tim’s truck is chock-a-block full of milk and cream bottles, organic chickens, corn and other products his customers like to order. David F. Rooney photo
Even the Queen likes this! Iris MacDonald thinks Tim’s service is dynamite “I’m so happy this is in my life,” she said. Iris even said that when the Queen was in Victoria she asked specifically for this organic milk from Gort’s Gouda in Salmon Arm. That’s a nice little anecdote. David F. Rooney photo
As navigates his way through the city Tim crosses off his deliveries, house by house. David F. Rooney photo
Tim descends from his truck at the backdoor of The Modern. David F. Rooney photo
Stops at places like the Modern, the Woolsey and Sangha Bean can mean delivering MANY bottles of milk and cream. How much depends upon their needs. But’s nice to see local establishments supporting other local small businesses. Revelstoke needs more of that. David F. Rooney photo
A stop at the Modern Cafe involves more than one trip as the very popular cafe and bakery goes through large volumes of milk and cream. David F. Rooney photo
Customers come in all varieties — from residential customers, cafes and restaurants to institutions like Community Connections. David F. Rooney photo
The sign on Tim’s truck looks back to the past and forward to the future. David F. Rooney photo
Another successful delivery to an appreciative customer! And this delivery marks the end of The Current’s little ride-along with Tim Dolan. Thanks, Tim! David F. Rooney photo