A century old family-run Angus dairy business has been sold “with a heavy heart” to a Dundee firm.
Kerr’s Family Dairy has taken over North Street Dairy three months after the Angus business decided to stop making its own milk.
Hamish Millar, who runs the business with his mum Aileen and his sister Alison, said rising costs had played a part.
He said changing family circumstances were also behind the decision to sell the firm, now run by the fourth generation.
“The bottom line is we’ve had enough,” Hamish said.
“It has been a very hard decision – we’ve been here for 104 years and didn’t take that decision lightly.
“Covid has had a lot to do with it. It has taken its toll. We’ve been busy but things are starting to dwindle away again.
“We’ve served the community well over the past 104 years.”
Bowing out after more than 100 years
The firm stopped processing its own milk in October last year due to rising costs.
At that point it entered a relationship with Kerr’s to supply its customers.
“Since then we’ve been half thinking about this,” Hamish added.
“We stopped processing due to costs and we thought now is the time to go.
“My family isn’t interested, so if we’d continued now, we’d just have done this in five or six years.”
Hamish said he had been offered a role working for Kerr’s, but declined the offer.
Instead he plans a complete break from the business, but insists he will keep working. His sister Alison, though, will retire.
He added: “There was an offer from Kerr’s but I said no. It’s time to walk away and I think it’s easier to make it a clean break.”
A statement on the Forfar firm’s Facebook page confirmed the news.
It said: “After over 100 years of processing milk at the dairy in North Street, this decision was not taken lightly, as the business has been in our family for four generations.
“This has come about due to the current financial climate with rising costs making our business model unsustainable but also as a result of changes in our own family circumstances.
“We do realise that many of you will be disappointed in our decision, but we have made this decision based on what is best for our family’s future.”
Selling to Kerr’s the obvious choice
Deliveries will transfer to Kerr’s Family Dairy from January 30.
Kerr’s supplies more than 60,000 glass bottles of milk to thousands of customers in Dundee and Aberdeen every week.
Hamish said selling the company to Kerr’s was an obvious choice.
“It was a foregone conclusion.
“They’ve always helped us out and our families have been friends for years.”
The statement from North Street Dairy adds: “Kerr’s Dairies are a well-established family business who have been delivering milk to Dundee and the north east of Scotland for over 120 years.
“We already have a solid working relationship with them and can assure you they will continue to offer excellent customer service.”
Angus dairy boss: ‘It is quite emotional’
Customers thanked North Street Dairy for their work on social media.
One said: “Sorry to read this. We have had a great, long connection. Thank you for your excellent service. All the best.”
Another said: “Thank you for the wonderful door step delivery over the last few years. Always a tough decision however you have to do what is right and best for you going forward. Here’s to the next chapter for you all.”
Hamish thanked everyone for their well wishes.
“It is quite emotional. These people aren’t just customers, they are friends,” he said.