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Mar 20, 2008 08:02 AM

Milk from a Dairy - purchased @ dairy? MSP

Hello. A couple of years ago we were visiting the midwest and after leaving the MSP airport and driving southward, we came upon a small sign that stated "Fresh Milk". After a quick u-turn, we proceeded to a small red building which we entered. There was no one around, but refrigerators with milk and various other dairy products. Everything was done on the honor system. We were intrigued and purchased a glass(!) bottle of non-fat (or maybe it was 1%) and filled out the form, paid the box, took some pics of the building and the chickens and off we went. I am not sure exactly where it is. Somewhere between MPLS/Rochester or Rochester/Harmony.
Now, I am seriously contemplating (about 95% sure) a relocation to the Minneapolis area. I wonder, are there any dairys such as the one I described above in the MPLS area? I do not care if it is on the honor system or not, but the milk was so phenomenally delicious (we could see the cows grazing in the field beyond the barn) and you could taste the grass in it. The best milk I have ever had! Also, if there are places that have butter, artisian cheeses, etc. extra points!
I would be happy to drive 1 hour in any direction. Thank you in advance for all your help!! Happy Spring!!

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  1. Dunno exactly where you might have been so close to the airport. Mostly thats a suburban wasteland for miles around. But there are good dairys in Hasting, Lonsdale, well--there are a number of em! I'm thinking you might have been in Lonsdale. Or maybe Cedar Summit in New Prague? Hmm, you were pretty far from the airport then! And they arent so down-home (but delicious milk!)

    Both the Minneapolis and St. Paul farmers market have dairys that sell at the market. I prefer st. paul because its guaranteed local and I find it easier to navigate than Minneapolis...too many handicraft junk sellers at Minneapolis for me, I go to the market to buy food!

    Anyways, some better grocers and of course most co-ops also sell the local milks as well.

    It is an entirely different and more pleasant experience than mass-market milk. Rather mind-blowingly tasty! Like the difference between Miller lite and a quality micro-brew!

    1 Reply
    1. re: zimmee66

      Thank you. Actually, I think we were pretty far south - we sort of tried to find it last year, but did not go through Rochester, just straight to Harmony and it was not there, so I am guessing it is closer to Rochester. There was also a great apple orchard past there - our meal was delicious milk and Sweet Sixteen apples... DELICIOUS!!

    2. There's just got to be a place like this nearby! I suggest starting your research with a call to Lori Callister at Farm in the Market - . They carry milk from Cedar Summit Dairy (untried by me, as I don't really drink milk), but I wouldn't be surprised if they know about sell-at-the-farm dairies in the area.

      Good luck with your quest!


      1 Reply
      1. re: AnneInMpls

        Thank you so much - will definitely contact Lori. We will be coming in June, so I will do some snooping at that time. Thank you again!!

      2. I just checked the Minnesota Grown online directory at the MN Dept. of Ag ( It lists 3 suppliers of local milk. The closest one to the Twin Cities is Autumnwood Farms ( in Forest Lake. I'd give them a call.

        2 Replies
        1. re: bob s

          Hi Bob! Thank you so much for the research! I will definitely give them a call. You are all so wonderful and helpful! Have a great day! Best! L

          1. re: WildSwede

            My guess is it may be the Kappers Big Red Barn Dairy in Chatfield.

            ...from an article I wrote in '05...

            Kappers Big Red Barn Dairy

            One month into bottling their own milk on the farm, Bob Kappers is increasing his capacity to deliver fresh milk to customers in the Chatfield area. He said the whole operation cost nearly twice what he thought it would, but would do it all again and the people in Southeastern Minnesota are grateful.

            Selling through markets in Rochester, Harmony and Preston are potentially more profitable, but Bob likes the home delivery part of the business best. You can hear in his voice that it makes him proud to be selling his own milk directly to the people who are going to drink it. “People around here like driving by the farm and seeing the cows out in the pasture and knowing where their milk comes from,” remarks Bob. “I really have to keep an eye on the quality.” He knows that is what will make him successful.

            The Kappers have been milking Holsteins for along time but “with the bulk milk market the way it is, we had to do something,” says Bob “ we were only licensed to milk 45 cows, and that’s not enough to make it financially.”

            There is something nostalgic about having your milk delivered directly to your house, but the thing that will keep the Kappers in business is the taste. Look for one of the Kappers at the Farmers’ Market in Rochester this summer. Fresh milk in glass bottles direct from the farm, there is nothing like it.

        2. PastureLand has the best butter!!! it is only made in the summer when the cows are out on pasture--none better.

          Cheese--that is so easy. Shepherds Way. Steven and Jodi (mostly Jodi) make some world class cheeses. (blue) the sheep milk blue is special and the (fresh) queso fresco (sp) is so light and creamy.

          Unwashed rind has to be LoveTree Farms Trade Lake Cedar (WI) ugly, moldy, funky just how my 4 and 8 year old children like their cheese (no kidding


          When you get here try the new alpine cheeses (washed rind) from PastureLand - I was lucky to try some of the early wheels -- they have developed some cheeses that 1. have charming names (Søgn, Berne, Thoten) and 2. are super for being cow milk (I really prefer sheep cheeses to cow or goat


          I'll second the Cedar Summit rec. Dave Minar has developed a very special heard of cows and the milk from his dairy is unlike the milk from any other dairy in the world... I teased him about it in an interview I did early this year, but it's true.

          Welcome to Minnesota, but wait about 2 months... uggg the winter is seeming to go on forever.

          2 Replies
          1. re:

            Hi 67! Thank you, thank you! Kappers does sound like it could be the place. I am going to research it a little to see if it indeed is - thank you again! I am definitely going to try the cheeses you recommend!! I love cheese!! ;-)
            I have an update on Autumnwoods Farms. I emailed and Pat Daninger responded. Pat said that just this month they started bottling their milk in glass bottles and have gotten many positive comments regarding how good it is. Also, they are opening a storefront at their creamery - no specific date, just indicated that it should be open by my visit in June. Pat (sorry, I don't know if Pat is a he or a she) mentioned that I do not need to drive so far to get their milk (out of MPLS) as I could find it at one of their many retailers. I then asked what the difference in freshness would be between their storefront milk and that at their retailers. Pat responded "I don't yet know the answer to your question as we are still in the process of organizing deliveries. This morning I opened a bottle of whole milk that was four days past expiration and it was still very good". There you have it. I plan on stopping by on the way to my brother's in June. Will let you know. Have a great weekend!

            1. re: WildSwede

              I just found Autumnwood Farm milk after doing some internet research. My search started with finding bottled Oberweis milk at Target grocery stores, but I didn't like the preposterous idea of shipping milk all the way from IL to MN (a dairy state!). I was thrilled to find that they have it at a store in St Michael, where I drive through to and from work (I actually live in Big Lake).

              After talking with Pat (who is a he, by the way ^_^), I've learned that they're concerned about getting enough business in St Michael to justify the delivery, so if you're in the area, please consider it! It's at The Marketplace on the East end of town. I'm doing this for purely selfish reasons!! I want the product available to me, but I'm only one customer!!

              On the up-side is that the milk is from rBGH-free cows that are grass-fed (alleged omega-3 and CLA benefits). They also use returnable bottles, so there is very little waste. The down-side is the price, but I think it's worth it.

          2. Also, over in Wisconsin, not too far from the Minnesota border, are several farm stores that sell fresh milk, butter, cream, yogurt, and pastured meats. It's great to take a Saturday to visit all these farms to do some grocery shopping.

            There's also a warehouse run by some great folks who operate directly with the farmers and artisan food folks. It's only been open a few months, but I think you would be please with what you could find.

            Mayor Rybak recently had a meeting with all the "good healthy eating" folks in town because he wants to encourage to encourage that. So this is a great place to settle in.