Local News

Former Hood dairy farm debuts goat milk gelato

WHITE RIVER JCT—Sweet Doe Dairy LLC, a newly established farm and creamery in Chelsea, announced the launch of Sweet Doe Gelato, New England’s first and only goat milk gelato, June 21.

Three launch flavors – vanilla, chocolate and coffee – are now available in Co-op food stores in Hanover and Lebanon, N.H., and White River Junction.

“We’re so proud to be introducing this product and awakening consumers to just how amazing goat milk – and milk from Nigerian Dwarf goats, in particular – can be,” said Michael Davis, owner, farmer and producer.

Sweet Doe Gelato has been nearly a decade in the making. It uses high quality, all-natural ingredients, including milk from Sweet Doe Dairy’s registered herd of Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats. While Nigerian Dwarfs are the smallest of the dairy goat breeds, their milk is the highest in butter fat, enabling Sweet Doe Dairy to make its gelato from whole milk without any added cream. The end result is a product that is lower in fat than most premium ice creams and gelato, though extremely rich in taste. All of the milk produced on the farm is used on-site in the production of gelato.

“We place as much emphasis on texture as we do on taste, and that’s one of the things that makes our gelato truly stand out,” said Davis. “But what our customers love most is the fact that there is no ‘goat’ taste in our gelato. People with preconceived notions of what a goat milk product tastes like will be genuinely surprised when they try our gelato.”

Davis and his wife Lisa have been building their farm, growing their herd, and honing their gelato recipes since they arrived in Vermont in 2012, although their research and training began long before that. Michael Davis volunteered for nearly two years at Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture in Pocantico Hills, N. Y., as part of the livestock team before going on to gain additional experience in Wisconsin, New Jersey and, later, Vermont.

After purchasing their historic 81-acre property, which long ago served as the original Hood family farm but had not been used for agricultural purposes since the late 1960s, the Davises made significant investments in infrastructure. They built their milking parlor, milk house and creamery themselves. Sweet Doe Dairy obtained its milk handler’s license in the fall of 2017.

Sweet Doe Gelato also carries the “Homegrown by Heroes” label issued by the nonprofit Farmer Veteran Coalition. Michael Davis is a veteran of the U.S. Navy, having honorably served two tours of duty in the Middle East in the mid 1990s.

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