An Update from Doddington Dairy

May 27, 2020

The last few weeks have been very difficult for so many people.  We seem to be slowly moving out of lockdown, taking us away from what felt like the safer place of staying home.

Yet that ‘safe place’ has caused huge difficulties for the economy and so many businesses, and probably will continue to do so for a long time.  Here at Doddington we closed our Milk Bar on the 20th March and are still reviewing the news and government advice, on a daily basis, to help us decide what we will do going forward.  Our ice cream, yogurt and cheese sales dramatically ‘fell off a cliff’ at that stage, as so many of our customers (hotels, cafes, restaurants, visitor centres, theatres, arenas) had to shut their doors.

We decided the best course of action was to furlough many of our staff members to protect them, and our business, in the short term.  Then over recent weeks we have brought several people back to work as we identified what was needed.

Thankfully our online sales of cheese have increased here on the Doddington Cheese website, and we are looking to review our online offering going forward. We’ve found that many independent food shops have actually been very busy as they’ve worked to support their local communities, often starting delivery services and really giving 110% to ensure people had access to food when many supermarkets were struggling.

We’ve found there was a bit of a run on take-home cartons of ice cream with our 500ml and 1 litre cartons suddenly dominating deliveries.  There’s also been a greater demand for yogurt as people enjoyed their food shop.  We’re producing yogurt weekly and with staff members furloughed it is not so easy to do this, but we will hopefully get this sorted out moving forward.

An insight into what’s been happening at Doddington

Doddington’s Jackie Maxwell was featured in a short film made recently as part of a series by Dan Prince called Coping In A Crisis. Watch it here:

We remain positive about the future, and indeed we’ve welcomed a number of new customers this week!  We look forward to being able to bring all of our staff back part-time, at least initially, which will make the transition to the ‘new normality’ much easier (and will hopefully ensure a continuous supply of yogurt!).

Thanks to everyone who has bought our products in the past and particularly during the last few weeks, you are genuinely helping this business survive and keep people in jobs!

To leave you with something positive, our middle daughter Anna was devastated when her A-Level exams were cancelled, and she started working on the farm to replace a member of staff who was shielding.  She decided she’d document this on Instagram (and Instagram stories) and it usually makes us smile!  Why not have a look at @annamaxwell_farm and see what her life is like on a daily basis at Doddington?!

Best wishes

Jackie Maxwell