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Milk Delivery Business Booms As People Avoid Grocery Stores

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The old-fashioned practice of milk delivery is coming back. It's a practice your parents or grandparents may recall, a milkman leaving glass bottles on your front steps in the morning. The owner of a dairy farm says business is booming as people avoid grocery stores.

TONY BRUSCO: A month ago, we were making up to about 5,500 home deliveries in the Maryland-Virginia-D.C. area. Today, that has shot up to 9,500 to 9,600 deliveries that we're doing every single week. It's been a ride.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

That's Tony Brusco, the owner of South Mountain Creamery in Middleton, Md. Now he's got a waitlist of more than 6,000 households who want their milk delivered.

BRUSCO: We have put on about nine delivery drivers. We've purchased five, soon to be six, delivery trucks.

MARTIN: Brusco was blindsided by the sudden demand, in part because he didn't really believe the coronavirus outbreak would impact daily life here.

BRUSCO: So I was one of the naysayers. I was comparing it early on to a blizzard, that everyone was getting all excited, and then at the end of the day, we were going to get a couple of flurries, and nothing was going to come of it. So, yeah, we were very shocked.

INSKEEP: The cows at the farm are busy, though not necessarily producing more. They started with a surplus. When the pandemic ends, Brusco is hoping his customers stick with delivery.

BRUSCO: I tell folks - I said, you know, your kids will be able to tell their kids that they had a milkman when they were growing up. And that's kind of cool.

MARTIN: It is kind of cool. Tony Brusco of South Mountain Creamery bringing the milkman into modern times.

(SOUNDBITE OF PETER MULVEY AND DAVID GOODRICH'S "DRUMLIN TRAIL") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.