Situated in the Orchard County in Keady, Bachelors Walk Dairy have been producing high-quality milk for over 87 years.
Owned by the Curry family, they have been milking cows at their family farm twice a day, every day since 1935.
Today, the business is run by Robert, Katrina and their son James.
Their milk is top tier, having been milked from a herd of Holstein cows. The milk is then gently batch pasteurised in a way so that it keeps its natural velvet texture and creamy taste.
The family have always been keen to share that experience in the community so, back in June, they launched ‘The Milk Bar’, a 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week milk vending machine located at its own site on the outskirts of Keady town.
‘The Milk Bar’, which is at 58 Tassagh Road, has ample parking on-site meaning that getting your supply of traditional family-farm milk couldn’t be easier.
It couldn’t be more simple. All you have to do is select the size of bottle you wish to purchase from the bottle vending machine, then place it inside the milk vending machine, using the intuitive touch screen system to select your product.
It’s entirely contactless payment, so you can make your payment with your card or phone.
There’s a range of flavours on offer too. If you’re not interested in just the milk, there are a number of milkshake flavours to choose from, including the classics like Strawberry and Chocolate, alongside a few more unique flavours such as Candy Floss and Biscoff.
There’s also a contactless self-service coffee machine serving a range of hot beverages such as hot chocolate, lattes and americanos made with their own milk.
You can even get some delicious homemade traybakes, provided by Cakes by Andrea.
Speaking about the milk vending machine, son James summed it all up saying: “We just want people to enjoy the same milk we’ve been enjoying for generations.”
It’s truly a family affair for James, as his great grandfather Robert, and his grandfather William, started selling milk in 1935 using a horse and milk cart in Keady town.
Back then, the herd of around 20 cows were milked entirely by hand!
Said James: “It really started with a bicycle and then it became a horse and milk cart. Two of my grandfather’s sisters, Emily and Mildred, would have done the milk round then, which stopped in the 1950’s. Fane Valley then took over the milk round.
“The farm milk supply then went to the Milk Marketing Board. It then became United Dairy Farmers and then Dale Farm, who we are still with.”
The business has since went from strength to strength, with more and more cows being added to the herd.
James’ dad Robert eventually took over in the 1980’s and has since worked to modernise the business, adding a new computerised milking parlour along with new sheds.
The idea for a 24-hour milk vending machine came about a couple of years ago, with ‘The Milk Bar’ eventually becoming a reality, opening on 16th of June 2023.
The Currys are keen to emphasise that the quality of the milk is unique.
Katrina said: “People have commented on how good ‘The Milk Bar’ is for the community. It is pasteurised on the farm with nothing taken away or added, and brought straight to ‘The Milk Bar’ where the community come to get the milk they love so much.”
Robert added: “The advantage of our own product is that with it being local produce, we are keeping food miles low, with the farm only being approximately one mile from ‘The Milk Bar’.
“The reusable glass bottles play an important part in the business as glass is more environmentally friendly than plastic cartons, thereby keeping waste to a minimum.
“Also, the glass bottle brings back memories for older generations who remember getting full milk in a proper glass bottle!”