Reed’s Dairy, which gets fresh milk, ice cream and other locally produced foods into the hands of consumers via its own stores and a fleet of delivery trucks, recently expanded its manufacturing capacity and retail footprint.
The Idaho Falls-based business grew its dairy herd and upgraded its factory. Reed’s in mid-December opened a store at Lake Hazel and Five Mile roads in southwest Boise, its second in the Treasure Valley in the past year and a half. The business plans to open a third store in the area eventually.
President Alan Reed said the business spent some $180,000 to remodel its production plant and add some new equipment,
“We can make our ice cream mix a little over one-third faster than we could before, so that makes quite a bit of difference,” he said, referring to production-plant upgrades. “It just allows us to run more product with the same amount of (employee) hours.”
Reed’s added about 50 milking cows, mostly from among heifers having first calves and milking for the first time. That brought the milking herd to about 230.
“We needed some more milk, and so it was good to bring those 50 extra animals in to milk,” Reed said.
Reed’s Dairy bottles and pasteurizes its own milk, and makes and sells mild cheddar cheese as well as cheese curds. It sells cheese varieties and butter that other Idaho companies make. Idaho-sourced meats are available by home delivery but not in the stores.
Using its own dairy herd and processing plant to supply the stores and delivery trucks helps Reed’s control input costs. But the business still must compete with the lower prices retailers have charged for milk products in recent years, Reed said.
“If there is demand for our product, we want to fulfill that demand,” he said. “The more we can manufacture in our facility, the more efficient we can make our facility.”
The new store in southwest Boise meets recent and anticipated customer demand for ice cream, milk and other products while giving Reed’s milk and cheese an additional place to land.
Its Dec. 14 opening drew many visitors, and “they were excited to have an ice cream store there,” Reed said. “A lot of them knew about us, and were glad they could get ice cream, milk and cheese right from our dairy farm.”
Claudia Kloss of Boise bought two half-gallon bottles of farm-fresh milk at the new store Dec. 19. She said it offers a close-proximity alternative to natural-food specialty stores, and complements local grocery and garden stores nearby.
“We still have a goal of having one more store in the Treasure Valley,” Reed said. “Our goal was to have three.”
A location has not been determined for the third Boise-area store, to open possibly within 18 months.
Reed’s also operates stores at its Idaho Falls dairy, and in nearby Ammon. In Twin Falls, another owner plans a store slated to carry Reed’s Dairy products.