Following their dreams of establishing a home-supply A2 milk business have stretched a young couple physically, emotionally and financially. Chloe Davidson reports on their progress.
Since the last issue of the Dairy Exporter we have been working extremely hard trying to launch our boutique milk company Roan.
It has become more obvious than ever that the time we have chosen to embark on one of the biggest journeys of our lives couldn’t be at a worse time. We have a very busy and boisterous little boy who is two and a little girl who is eight months old. To make that a little trickier, we have limited support and James is very busy keeping a roof over our heads.
Throw Roan into the mix and we have stretched ourselves physically, emotionally and financially to the absolute max. We have added stress to our already very stressed minds but we know that despite all of the above, it has been worth the blood, sweat and tears because we currently have no competition in Canterbury which means that our timing couldn’t be more perfect!
James and I have always been risk-takers, we have always pushed ourselves to the absolute limits much to the bank’s dismay. We accept we’re going to get a regular grilling but the chance to follow our dreams is totally worth it in our opinion.
We have definitely made sacrifices but we have only made sacrifices that don’t compromise the quality of the Roan brand. For example, we chose to buy a delivery van with half the chiller space but it had back seats which enabled me to take Angus and Margot along with me for deliveries which removed the need for any staff.
We are a family business and we make decisions which reflect this.
The journey of Roan so far could be described as a never-ending hurdles race, managing to successfully jump over one only to find another just a couple of metres away. Most of the hurdles we have come across have been people who we have relied on to get tasks completed. It’s always very frustrating when you want something done yesterday but the person completing the job is sick or busy and you, yet again, end up in the waiting place.
The waiting place has always been my least favourite place. From waiting for exam results, to waiting to receive my much-anticipated engagement ring, to waiting for my first baby to arrive – I’ve never been patient.
So far the journey of Roan has definitely had me in the waiting place more than I’d like to be. Perhaps it is James who has had the biggest taste of the waiting place so far, he has been milking our cows since April 19, unable to bottle one drop. Little did we know that come July we would still be unable to bottle any of our delicious Roan goodness.
Interesting enough, we have now perfected our milking processes so much the Queen would be impressed. Not surprisingly James’ excitement for milking has dwindled a little but the day we finally get to bottle our own milk is definitely still in our sights.
We think we are now at the final hurdle as we have submitted our Risk Management Plan to MPI and we are now waiting for them to endorse it. This on its own can take 20 working days so yep you guessed it, we are once again in our favourite place – the waiting place.
But despite the hurdles, every day we remain positive as we have a fantastic product that people believe in. We have a product that 11 stockists across Canterbury believe in. We have a product that our stockists are happy to wait for because there is nothing else on the market like Roan.
Roan has no competition. Customers, despite never having tried our product, they are desperate to try Roan. When asked why customers want to try Roan, many love the fact that we keep our calves with their Mums, many love the fact that we will deliver fresh milk straight from our farm to their door, many love the fact that our glass bottles are returnable, all of our customers love the fact that our milk is local.