Like any good story, ours began as a love story… ok it didn’t really, but it became one, so that’s close enough right? Greg and I met at a pilot for a course I was teaching aimed at farmers. There was an earth shattering hug at the end of the class and we decided to keep in touch. Since I wasn’t a farmer (and my background only included one summer at a farm, being chased by a bull and stepping in fresh cow poop with my see through jelly shoes – I know I seriously just dated myself) I called on Greg from time to time for connections or advice on how best to connect with farmers.
Fast forward and our connections became a little more than a chat… we began an “un-relationship” and eventually determined we really didn’t want to be without the other and so we made plans to figure out how to integrate our lives – including my 2 city boys and his 2 farm boys.
Fast forward a little more and I was helping Greg with the strategic planning for expanding the goat dairy farm, when I asked him to think broader the first thing he said was: “I’ve always wanted a product from the farm”. We started brainstorming and I said we need to make ice cream, it goes with every momentous occasion, no one is really doing it in the market and myself and one of my sons can’t digest cow dairy/ice creams and so we thought it would be a great option.
After some challenges in the goat dairy industry, we decided to take the idea for a spin, and eventually that led me to launch an Udderly Ridiculous lineup of ice cream in March 2019 out to the market. The company name came out of the fact that both of us were working full time and it was “Udderly Ridiculous” to think about starting a company we really knew nothing about. I ended up leaving my position as a corporate facilitator and dove head first into bringing the company, brand and product to life (with a lot of help and encouragement along the way). We won awards, including the dessert category of the Grand Prix of New Products in Canada, and had managed to get into a number of retailers. However the pandemic is challenging on a new product, and not being able to meet people, give out samples and get to witness people’s expressions of joy took its toll, along with the challenges of navigating the supply chain and large retail landscape with a sensitive product like ours.
We went back to our original discussion around having a product, and the extension of that being a facility of our own where we could interact with people, educate and provide memorable experiences. We envisioned Greg’s Dad Alvin (who was at the farm 6 days per week) being in his glory welcoming people to the farm and telling them stories. We found out Alvin had pancreatic cancer in January 2021 with maybe a year to live, and we decided then that we had to figure out a way to bring this to life by the summer of 2021 while we still had time with him. Sadly, his battle progressed quickly and we had to say goodbye too soon. The plan however was already in motion and now it will not only bring together all of my skills and passions and Greg’s love of people and extensive farming experience, – it will also serve as a legacy to the memory of Alvin and all he poured into this land, the animals and the community he loved.
We are truly on an Udderly Ridiculous adventure, we hope you will join us on it!