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Reinventing the milk round, How Now heralds new dawn in dairy

Amy Brice

How Now hr2.jpg

After months of planning, funding, building and branding, supported by Bristol-based philanthropic organisation, The Seed Fund, How Now Dairy is now delivering a different kind of milk to the doorsteps of the South Hams in Devon. Awarded The Seed Fund’s runner-up prize in 2016, How Now is the latest start-up to come through the Academy’s educational programme and benefit from a full year of business and marketing support, helping it to sow the seeds of change out on the pastures.

Committed to producing, packaging and delivering every single drop of milk, in the process ensuring that its journey from grass to cow to consumer is as short as possible, founder Oliver Lee carefully manages every aspect of the milk’s production. Having sowed his herbal leys and built a micro dairy to his own specifications, Oliver carefully looks after each of his 24 pedigree Ayrshire cows, working alongside nature and with respect for the milk’s unique flavours and micro nutrients.

Guided by an ethos of “leaving the land better than we found it”, Oliver impressed The Seed Fund Academy’s mentors with his single-minded determination to succeed, eventually landing him the unprecedented prize of special runner-up. Benefiting from brand creation support from Bristol-based marketing and branding consultancy, The Collaborators, a new website by Dartmouth-based Cloudberry Digital and guidance from Oliver’s lead mentor, Matthew Shaw of Shaws Provisions, How Now is now on the road to success, delivering whole and semi-skimmed milk to its first few hundred customers.

Jayne Noblet, owner of The Collaborators and founder of The Seed Fund, commented:

“The Seed Fund Academy has nurtured some fantastic food and drink start-ups over the past five years, but Oliver really did stand out from the crowd. Entering the Academy with little more than an idea, he brought bags of passion, drive and energy to every session. When the time came to pick our winner, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to support such an inspiring young entrepreneur doing something so special, so we created a runner-up prize just for him. It’s been a joy working with him on his brand identity, tone of voice and marketing collateral, alongside Cloudberry Digital, who have gone above and beyond to create a website to manage How Now’s subscriptions, and we’re so excited to see what the future holds for Oliver and his happy herd!”

Matthew Shaw, owner of Shaws Provisions, adds:

“With the UK now importing and exporting such huge quantities of milk, How Now’s commitment to short milk miles is so refreshing. The concept got me very excited during The Seed Fund Academy sessions and Oliver never ceases to amaze me in what he’s able to achieve when he puts his mind to it. He’s a true entrepreneur, willing to tackle almost anything, so I’ve taken great pleasure in being his sounding board and providing guidance on everything from funding and utilities to planning permission and building the dairy. This is a wonderful community-minded initiative, with How Now’s customers able to see the cows from across the fields, and I hope in the fullness of time many more communities will have the opportunity to have their milk delivered the How Now way.”

Oliver Lee, founder of How Now Dairy, says:

“The Seed Fund Academy was an incredible experience, not only giving me the opportunity to learn from industry experts, but also the other finalists as they embarked on their own journeys. I’m passionate about the dairy industry and agriculture, but things like marketing, brand identity, brand voice and social media were alien to me and I could easily have missed their importance without the Academy’s guidance. The Seed Fund is a great philanthropic organisation and will always be part of our business as we grow and continue on our mission to change the way people think about milk.”

How Now Dairy delivers twice daily, mornings and evenings, twice a week in the South Hams area in Devon. One litre of whole and semi-skimmed milk costs £1.50, with one pint costing £0.85. 

For more information on The Seed Fund, please visit www.theseedfund.co.uk