Arethusa Farms’ motto is “milk like it used to taste,” referencing its sought-after dairy from pampered cows. Now, thanks to soaring demand for its prestigious products, Arethusa is enlisting help from two western Connecticut farms to supplement its needs.
The Arethusa brand, born in Litchfield County, is synonymous with premium. Its rich, sweet milk is also used to make yogurt, cultured butter, artisanal cheeses, ice cream with 16 percent butterfat and seasonal eggnog in glass bottles. As its profile grew, and with the addition of a new retail store and cafe in West Hartford, co-founders George Malkemus and Tony Yurgaitis quickly realized they needed more liquid milk to keep up with wholesale demand.
Malkemus and Yurgaitis, known for their work as top executives with the Manolo Blahnik shoe brand, purchased the historic Webster Farm in Bantam in 1999. “We didn’t know yet how we would use it, but couldn’t bear the thought of Litchfield losing that open space,” they noted on Arethusa’s official website. Eventually they made their “first foray into dairying,” starting with five cows, and their herd now numbers more than 300.
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