South Mountain Creamery is expanding its footprint in suburban Baltimore to keep up with renewed demand for old-fashioned milk delivery services this past year.
The Frederick County-based, family-owned dairy farm is based on 300 acres in Middleton, and just signed a lease to expand into a 5,400-square-foot distribution center in the Aberdeen Technology Park next month.
There, its milk, butter, yogurt, eggs and ice cream will be routed to customers in the area that includes Baltimore, Harford and Cecil counties, as well as the city. New markets targeted by the expansion include the Eastern Shore and Delaware.
“We started to discuss the growth about four months ago as the need for food delivery has spiked,” said Lanie Swanhart, a spokeswoman for South Mountain Creamery, on Monday. “A year ago we were making 5,000 deliveries a week and now we are making 10,000. It allows us to go to some of those areas that our normal delivery service couldn’t make.”
The company has added 11 new trucks to its fleet and nine new drivers. It will hire more workers in the coming weeks, Swanhart said. The Harford County location is a mile from Interstate 95 near Route 22.
The growth for South Mountain Creamery is in line with other large and small retailers that have pivoted during the Covid-19 crisis.
Tony Brusco, CEO of South Mountain Creamery, said the novel coronavirus pandemic sparked the growth over the past several months as customers hesitated to shop in-person.
“Because we deal with perishable goods, it was critical to access highways that connect our home base farm to this new location, as well as points north and east,” Brusco said.
The creamery has access to a total of 3,000 acres of farmland in Frederick County and its products are all natural, but not organic. Besides dairy products, South Mountain offers fresh vegetables and meats from local growers and has a commercial kitchen in downtown Frederick that produces a menu of prepared foods.
Customers are able to place orders online for deliveries that are made overnight. There is a $4.99 delivery fee for orders under $60.
Aberdeen Technology Park is owned by St. John Properties and totals 38,400 square feet of flex space. Brooke Harlander, a partner in training for St. John, represented the landlord in the deal.
“With nearly two decades of successful operations, South Mountain Creamery is an entrepreneurial-driven company capitalizing on the growing trend of healthy eating and well-being,” said Sean Doordan, senior vice president for St. John. “Consumers are increasingly gravitating to their mission of producing wholesome food products.”