A new business challenge brought on by coronavirus concerns has revived an old tradition at a major state dairy.
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Corey Thayer and a Mountain Dairy delivery truck. (Mountain Dairy)

A new business challenge brought on by coronavirus concerns has revived an old tradition at a major state dairy company — the milkman.

On Thursday, Storrs-based Mountain Dairy announced that Manchester became the 27th town being offered home delivery in north-central and eastern Connecticut. That stretched the service from north-central Connecticut deep into eastern Connecticut.

The farm itself can be traced back to 1771, when Boaz and Lydia Stearns first worked the land. The conversion to milk and dairy took place in 1871. Mountain Dairy stopped the delivery service in 2012 after those 140-plus years, but recently revived the old milkman concept as folks became increasingly encouraged to stay home.

Even Corey Thayer, who used to make deliveries, was brought back to the delivery division.

The Stearns family said, “We are delivering six days a week to accommodate all that we can.”

The family added, “We saw a need … so many people are quarantining to be cautious or because they are ill and cannot get out for basic needs. So we fired up the old delivery trucks used many years ago and hit the road.”

The first day featured 27 deliveries and now the trucks can do more than 200 deliveries on some days.

“The feedback has been amazing. We have received several e-mails, phone calls and cards thanking us. We are so happy that we can help in some way during the current situation,” the family said.

Products offered are dairy items fresh from Mountain Dairy’s own cows and milk bottled on the family farm in Storrs, along with eggs, orange juice and bottled water.

Other items will be added “soon,” the family said.

Online orders can be processed at MountainDairy.com.

Here is the basic delivery schedule:

Monday- Storrs (06268), Willington, Tolland, Coventry
Tuesday- Ashford, Brooklyn, Eastford, Chaplin, Hampton
Wednesday – Baltic/Sprague, Bolton, Bozrah, Franklin, Manchester
Thursday- Mansfield (06250), Windham, Willimantic, Scotland, Canterbury
Friday- Andover, Colchester, Columbia, Glastobury, Hebron, Lebanon, Marlborough
Saturday – Ellington, Vernon

“It’s amazing how many people still have their old milk boxes,” Mountain Dairy spokeswoman Lisa Stearns said. “They also remember Corey from when they had delivery before.”

To explore strategies for success in 2023 for the dairy industry, we invited Muzaffar Yunusov, lead of key account management at the IFCN Dairy Research Network, to speak at Alltech ONE Budapest.

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