Over the past month, we understand that our customers have had concerns surrounding food safety and order fulfillment as our company has adjusted to operating in a pandemic. To continue in our efforts to answer our customers’ questions, we’ve asked some of our vendors to share their story about operating during a health crisis.
This is Cherylynn’s story from Rock Ridge Dairy and how COVID-19 has impacted her business.
About Rock Ridge Dairy
This farm and Certified Organic processing facility, located in Ponoka, Alberta, is home to roughly 600 goats that make up the goat milk and goat cheese side of their Rock Ridge brand. The Organic Jersey milk for their brand comes exclusively from a single farm, the Van Os Dairy, by Wetaskiwin. The operation, owned by Cherylynn and her partner Patrick, has been producing high quality milk and cheese products for about 22 years.
How COVID-19 has impacted their business
Since the pandemic hit Alberta, Cherylynn’s role as mother of four, farmer, teacher, and employer has taken on a whole new level of responsibility. As she juggles more areas of her life than ever before, she also is having to manage changes in who her customers are. Prior to COVID-19, Rock Ridge Dairy used to sell the majority of their products to restaurants, catering companies and hotels. Since the temporary closure of many facilities, their operation has now worked tirelessly to shift their focus to their retail customers. Thankfully, they have had good sales through SPUD.ca and through our retail stores in Alberta, Blush Lane.
What ways can you help?
Cherylynn asks that you indulge in some local, organic, and high quality cheese. As sales have slowed, Cherylynn worries that cheese will pile up. Not only is unsold cheese a risk for food waste, but it also means that feeding their goats becomes more expensive as they have less of an income to support the purchase of feed. So go on- buy some cheese!
She also passes on a huge thank you to you, the customers buying local. She says, “they enable us to have our business and live our lives. Without them, we would have to walk away from everything we do and live for.”
What A Post-COVID19 World Looks Like for Rock Ridge
Cherylynn sees both challenges and silver linings that the impacts of COVID-19 has created. In terms of challenges, she worries that the negative economic impacts will be hard to overcome in the future. On the flip side, she believes this health crisis has shown the strength of small businesses and she hopes that this revived support for buying local will be maintained.