In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Maple View Farm & Milk Company, a creamy oasis located at 3109 Dairyland Road in Hillsborough, announced that it was discontinuing its milk production and bottling after 25 years.The popular ice cream shop and country store will remain open, with ice cream made on-site using the same recipes. The major change: milk and other dairy products will now be sourced from Simply Natural Creamery in Ayden, North Carolina.
Maple View Farm finds its origin story back in 1963, when Robert “Bob” Nutter, a fifth-generation Maine farmer, relocated to Hillsborough and purchased 477 acres; legend has it he began milking cows the day he arrived.
In 1996, alongside his son Roger Nutter, he transformed the farm from a conventional dairy farm into a multi-business venture with Maple View Farm Milk Company, which began bottling the slender glass milk bottles you now find in grocery stores and co-ops all across the Triangle. Glass bottles, while ostensibly more expensive and labor-intensive than plastic jugs or paper cartons, were kept in rotation because, as Nutter told Our State in 2013, they were better for the environment and kept the milk fresher.
In 2019, Bob Nutter died at the age of 90, and Roger Nutter and co-owner Mike Strowd took over the operation.
In the Facebook post, the pair wrote that it had been a “very hard decision” and that the last day of milk bottling will be September 6. In order to be eligible for deposit refunds, glass bottles must be turned in by September 20.
“The cattle are all going to a good home and will be missed immensely,” the post reads.
The 400 acres of the farm are dotted with pine and a few maples. Before Bob Nutter died, 187 acres were put into a conservancy with the Triangle Land Conservancy. Although it is unclear what will happen with the remaining acres, the post promises that Maple View Ice Cream will continue to offer “spectacular sunsets with views of the landscape still in agriculture.”
To read more about the land and farming operation—and a peek into Maple View’s eggnog operation of yore—read the INDY‘s 2015 piece, “Dairy Christmas.”
If Maple View milk has been a constant in local refrigerators for the past 25 years, trips to the farm have nearly as iconic a legacy—catching a sunset and licking an ice-cream cone on the porch of the store, after all, is essentially a rite of passage for UNC-Chapel Hill students. Thankfully, the store will continue to be open, with Nutter and Strowd vowing that the dairy from Simply Natural Creamery, which will serve as a base for the ice cream, tastes “remarkably like Maple View’s.”
Maple View Agricultural Center, which offers classes and rentals, will also stay open.
“Look forward to familiar standards, your favorite seasonal flavors, and some new fun creations,” the post reads. “You will still be able to get farm fresh milk, butter, eggs, cheeses, and more at the country store.”
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