Dutch-Way Farm Markets has switched to Reading-based Clover Farms as its new primary vendor for dairy products following the closure of Dutchway Dairy, the brand that started it all back in the 1970’s
The switch sees with it the discontinuation of at least a few Dutch-Way staples: The chocolate milk, diet Meadow Tea, and Egg Nog.
The company first announced the change back in mid-December.
Dutch-Way Dairy is a separate business with different owners than the market and cafes. (See below for the backstory of how they are linked.)
Although Clover Farms has chocolate milk, it is not the same formula as the Dutch-Way version, which this author can attest had an unusually smooth and delicious quality to it. In responses to Facebook posts on its page, Dutch-Way Farm Markets noted that the Clover Farms version was the closest they could find and also uses whole milk, but Clover Farms was not interested in replacing its chocolate milk formula with the Dutch-Way version, as that change would affect all of their other customers, which also include Weis Markets, Redner’s, and Wal-Mart locally.
Clover Farms will be taking on Meadow Tea production, as that was not a product they had been manufacturing previously. However, Diet Meadow Tea did not make the cut, with Dutch-Way noting on Facebook that, “The sugar content was not a large enough of a difference to justify a diet version since the regular is already a lower amount.”
Clover Farms sources from dairies in Lebanon, Lancaster, and Berks Counties.
Dutchway Dairy began as a brand for David. Z Martin to use when selling his milk and egg products, and then expanded into retail starting with Dutch-Way’s Gap location in the 1970’s. Martin died at age 89 this past July at home in Myerstown. A member of the Martin family indicated that they did not wish to comment further. The Martin’s remain involve in a number of different enterprises, and the dairy decision was likely linked to the larger macroeconomic pressures being faced by dairies across the state (paywall).
Rich High, Cliff Snader and Jeff Snader purchased the original Gap location of Dutch-Way Farm Market from the Martin family in 1994, and went on to expand the store with locations in Myerstown and Schaefferstown. But Dutchway Dairy remained with the Martin family.
The Clover Farms products are already available at all Dutch-Way locations, with the store taking some extra steps to ease the transition for its consumers, like having a Clover Farms rep in the stores and offering $0.99 gallon teas (they’d probably be discounting the milk too, if it weren’t against the law).
Many have taken to the Dutch-Way Farm Market Facebook page to express their thoughts on the dairy change. A fitting time to pour one out…
Have you tried Clover Farms yet? Big change or not so much? Let us know in the comments, or drop us a line via email.