While vaccines are here and some occupancy rules are relaxing, COVID-19 means many still don’t want to pop into the store for a gallon of milk or a loaf of bread. So, they’re taking advantage of grocery home delivery services, something that’s become a booming success during COVID.
The demand for grocery delivery during the pandemic has also triggered the comeback of a largely forgotten occupation — the milkman. Yes, people are now flocking to milk delivery services like they did in the 1950s when more than 50% of milk sold in the country was delivered directly to people’s homes, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. (Once supermarket shopping became the norm, it became rare to see the milkman.)
Just ask Igor Yakovlev about the surge in milkman delivery consumers. He co-owns Udderly Delicious NYC, a neighborhood milkman delivery service based in Staten Island, with his wife, Ashley. The company has been around for more than 20 years, but the couple took the route over in early 2020. “We’re the modern-age milk people,” Yakovlev said.
They get fresh and organic products from local vendors including dairy, meat, beef, chicken, pork and seafood. Of course, just like you envision, they sell old school milk in glass bottles. You’ll also find raw honey from the duo’s 6-year-old business, Beezy Bees. “People like this service since everything is delivered straight to their house and the high quality of the product,” Yakovlev said.
While premium milk comes at a price, items such as milk, butter and eggs are much fresher from a milkman than if you buy them at big stores, Yakovlev said. Plus, you’ll reap the health benefits of this milk that’s low pasteurized. “It’s not processed like ones in the grocery store,” said Yakovlev of their milk, which comes from King Brothers Dairy in upstate New York. This kind of milk retains most of its vitamins, is non-GMO and is pasture raised.
Yakovlev said their customer base includes families with lots of kids and the older generation. Their clients like the convenience of having everything delivered straight to their house and the old-school vibe of milk in a glass bottle. People need a sense of comfort right now. They’re returning to their childhood roots and embracing old traditions of products they grew up with and trusted. Nostalgia is associated with the milkman. “Sometimes people wait outside for our delivery,” he said. “They like hearing the cling clang of the bottle.”
The company plans to produce its own cashew milk and mint chocolate milk and expand product offerings. They also want to make custom-made coolers with logos that can hold doorstep deliveries.
Here is how Udderly Delicious NYC works: Fresh bottled milk — either in glass or plastic — is delivered to customers weekly. (They ask that you return glass bottles so they can be cleaned and reused). Create your order online, which you can change weekly. Place orders by Wednesday for the following Monday’s deliveries, which go to mid-Island and the South Shore. Place orders on Sunday for the following Tuesday’s deliveries, which go to mid-Island and the North Shore. They charge a $2 delivery fee but no other surcharges. Deliveries are typically made at night via their refrigerated van. Deliveries are placed on your porch. They’ll put items in a cooler or insulated bag if you leave it out.
For more information, visit UdderlyDeliciousNYC.com.