Welcome to your little local dairy and milk delivery service

Paul, Ecofresh Dairy Owner

I'm Paul, After working in and around the dairy industry for most of my life from the age of 8 I always had a vision of setting up my own dairy business. I went from life after leaving school working in various different roles in many different industries but was a milkman for a short while and worked in Sales roles within dairy companies mainly selling milk wholesale to restaurants, shops and the catering industry.

Within these roles I also dealt with milk rounds reorganisations, marketing and getting people in the right places for different roles in the businesses. I still dreamed of one day owning my own dairy business but during this time doorstep delivery from the milkman was in decline and many dairy businesses were closing, selling up or merging with other dairies with milk rounds being taken out massively downsizing in favour of cheap supermarket milk.

Like lots of things in life which come back into fashion The great David Attenborough brought to the attention of consumers around the world the plight of one use plastic and the damage this was doing across the globe and to our marine life. Councils around the UK and probably around the world had made people believe one use plastic bottles and various other items of waste were being recycled however the truth came out. Various programs like Blue Planet and war on plastic highlighted that much of the UK's waste was being shipped around the world not necessary being recycled and in many cases ending up causing more pollution.

The time seemed to be upon me to see whether there would be a need to bring the milkman back to an area where I had grown up helping all the local milkmen over thirty years ago. I put the idea out there and there seemed to be some people who would support a local milk delivery service. There were a couple of larger or national dairy businesses around but none of them were offering what I wanted to.

Like many people I had a vision in my mind what great customer service looked like and I had seen some other dairies offering nothing like this. I wanted to offer as many products as possible in returnable glass bottles and as many local great tasting products as possible, things you just couldn't find in the supermarket. I wanted to sell products that I loved myself and that I knew my customers would love to. At the time I was working in another job I loved as a local school caretaker, I was running little clubs for the kids to get them taking ownership of their school and interested in wildlife within the school but eventually the bosses piled on the workload to a point where there were just not enough hours in the day. I took a pay cut and decided to do an 8 hour day rather than 12 as I took the leap to see what I could do starting a milk round.

But what would I call my business? I pondered over various names based around the area I wanted to deliver or around my name but none of these had a real ring to them, I then thought what is it I really want to be renowned for? I wanted to be Eco friendly delivering Fresh products - Like those light bulb moments Ecofresh Dairy was born!

A dairy I started buying milk from allowed me to deliver to some of their customers and look after them while I was building my own customer base. I started deliveries across Thurrock and my own customers began to come on board. I was collecting milk from the dairy outside of Thurrock but really wanted to be working from my own fridge with my own supply coming in. I had started to source my own products the first being a fresh milk shake in returnable pint bottles and I soon purchased my own branded milk bottles.

I searched across most of the local area for a suitable unit and eventually found our current home at Gables Egg Farm in Fobbing. This was a great fit because another local product became available in the form of locally produced eggs. I went from selling just a box of eggs a week to over 40!

Since our birth in 2018 we have grown slowly but surely. Adding as many local products as possible and being at the forefront of not be scared of cost to get a product to the point of being produced to being delivered in the format I wanted it. We now supply beautiful local bakery products baked in Billericay, Locally produced eggs made in Fobbing and our latest product which we are really proud of being our locally produced Honey in our own branded returnable bottles.

I never really went away from the dairy industry even when I was in jobs not connected. For most of my life I have had a passion for all things milk; Since I was 8 I collected the advertising milk bottles which were adorned with adverts for all manner of things from Kellogg's Corn Flakes to Crusha milk shake. Many people started collecting milk bottles at this time but most of them stopped when the collection got to around 100, mine continued and I now have one of the UK's largest collection of milk bottles standing at around 15,000 different milk bottles from farms and dairies of the past along with a couple of milk floats and various items of related memorabilia.

With our growth we are proud to be taking on local people to undertake more deliveries for us and adding more super fresh tasty products for our lovely customers. We are happy to now be supplying all milk types, conventional and organic, fresh milk shakes, orange juice, single and double cream and local honey all in returnable glass bottles. Since we started we are now saving around seven hundred four pint plastic bottles from ending up being shipped around the world or going to landfill every week. We hope to increase our customer base and reduce one use plastic waste long into the future.

Paul, Milkman

Paul has been delivering milk in the local area since the age of 8 and ensures all our customers receive the attention to detail we strive to provide as a business.

Alan, Milkman/Stock Control

Alan has worked in a number of customer focused roles and is now in charge of dealing with all incoming stock and rotation of products.

Alan also deals with any of the day too day bits which crop up within the dairy.

Vicki, Office Manger

Vicki has been there from the beginning of the business supporting things in many ways in the background, More recently she has taken on the role of banking and allocating customers payments and dealing with payment queries.

Being Paul's wonderful good lady she is forced to live and breath milk 24/7!

Lloyd, Fleet Manager

Lloyd has been a friend for many years and has always assisted with vehicle issues and maintenance. Lloyd is behind the annual vehicle Christmas illuminations and it's not unusual for him to receive an early morning phone call to sort out a break down.

Lloyd is a jack of all trades and a great part of the Ecofresh Dairy team.

Ralph, Marketing Manager

Ralph has took an interest in our little dairy from the beginning, his family signed up with us early on. He was always leaving us notes and drawings which of course we always responded to. Ralph started coming to our open days and took an interest in all the different milk bottles we were delivering. He started collecting the milk bottles and company owner Paul saw in Ralph himself as a youngster. Ralph made up our tag line "Be Milktastic, Don't buy milk in plastic" We thought it was such a catch little Rhyme we put it on all our branded clothing and even added it to our Heart of Gold special edition milk bottle. Even though all our team are (or act younger than their age) it's great to have Ralph on board as our marketing manager.