DAVID MEETS ANGUS, ROSIE & THE HERD AT
Exec Chef, David, popped over to Daltons Dairy to meet Angus and Rosie Dalton who supply Wildhive with delicious butter and ice cream...
A family business for 21 years
Daltons Dairy is located on the southern tip of the Peak District where tenant farmers Sue and Angus rent 750 acres of grassland for their dairy herd. They are first-generation dairy farmers, both previously from non-farming careers and established their herd in 1996. Firm supporters of pasture fed dairy, the cows now have a 100% grass fed diet. Most of the year the cows can be seen out in the fields, only coming into sheds for the winter months and milked just once a day.
Angus and Sue's son Henry, together with wife Rosa, run the farm and daughter Rosie, manages the marketing. Daltons have one full-time member of staff, a student in his gap year and 4 relief staff working on the farm. Two full-time people work in ice cream production year round which increases to 6 part-time members during the busy summer months.
Wildhive Exec Chef, David Bukowicki with the herd
Hatching new ideas
Daltons add value to their milk by making ice cream, butter and bottling the milk. They have also introduced a Coffee and Ice Cream Hatch which is open during the Spring and Summer months. Their on-farm Honesty Shop is open all year and sells all their produce together with eggs, cheese and other locally made products. Set in the beautiful Weaver Hills, it is a popular destination for families and walkers alike with outdoor seating and garden games. This year they introduced 'pods' (cosy covered seating areas) with a fabulous view of the farm and surroundings.
Ice Cream Champ
Rosie is all-things ice cream and loves to create new flavours throughout the year, perhaps something seasonally themed for Christmas, Easter or Halloween. Ice cream is a huge focus of the business and the family are busy at the Hatch with locals and visitors to the Peaks enjoying a walk in the hilly landscape with a well-earned break for a delicious ice cream or coffee.
Social Media has really helped Rosie to promote the business and has been useful in establishing links, whether that's with other farmers, ice cream producers, chefs or restaurants. Through these links Daltons have become members of groups such as 'Pasture for Life' who promote the farming of animals on pasture.
Photo: Rosie Dalton at the Hatch
Happy cows... luxury taste!
The farm has 400 cows which are milked just once a day (OAD). Milking once a day promotes a better quality of life for the cows. Less walking into the parlour, more time in the fields grazing on the grass creates a better quality of milk, not only because they are happier cows but because they are eating more grass, the fat and protein content is higher. This results in a superior dairy product and both Daltons milk and ice cream have won Great Taste Awards. David recognises the quality of the butter which really makes a difference to the creation of the dishes he produces and ultimately the guest's enjoyment of the food.
Angus loves food and enjoys talking about it! David has a genuine interest in where he sources his produce and understands that good quality food comes from good farming and growing practices. Daltons Dairy and Wildhive are completely aligned with their food philosophy so it's a happy working relationship and local with the dairy just 4 miles from Callow Hall.
Photo: The happy herd
What's the scoop at Daltons?
- Daltons served ice cream at Boris and Carrie Johnson's wedding party
- They won UK Farming Family Business of the Year in 2021
- Daltons attend many festivals, shows and events including Groundswell (regenerative agriculture show), working with Porsche at Soho Farmhouse and attending the JCB Fun Day Out
- The Daltons family all have their own favourite ice cream flavours; Sue 's is chocolate orange, Angus likes ginger, Henry and Rosa love the real fruit spinners and Rosie loves the vanilla soft serve from the ice cream van
- Daltons Dairy are constantly looking at innovation and getting their produce to a larger audience ~ they hope to offer Farm Tours and Meet the Farmer visits in the future
The Hatch is open from April until end of September: Wednesday to Sunday (& Bank Holidays) ~ 10am–5pm
The Honesty Shop is open year round ~ 7am–10pm