Haverton Hill Creamery was established in 2010 by husband and wife Missy and Joe Adiego. Located in Petaluma, California, it is a little slice of heaven outside of the city.
While Missy grew up on the east coast and Joe in Petaluma, the couple bonded over their mutual love of animals. Joe had spent years working for his father and specializing in farm equipment, and Missy grew up showing horses in the competitive hunter jumper circuit. Once married, the couple knew that they both wanted a future for their children that involved animals and a wholesome upbringing. With Joe’s background in farming and milk production, the couple decided to try their hand at raising and milking sheep. It was in 2010 that 600 sheep arrived at Haverton Hill, and the couple began their journey.
“Our farm is our lifestyle. We love what we do, the products we produce along with all of our animals. Every day is a new challenge; no day is the same, but we wouldn't have it any other way.”
Previously a cow dairy, the 370 acre Petaluma farmland is leased from the Dougan family, and was in need of renovations to house sheep. Missy and Joe took on the task, and have turned the farm into a full functioning grade A sheep dairy.
“I think I should have bought stock in white paint at the start of our process! We built our creamery buildings from the ground up starting with mobile white cottages we found on craigslist. Now, 3547 subway tiles later, we are able to produce all our products on the farm in our micro creamery. All off our buildings were built mobile since we are on a leased property allowing us to move our buildings and facility if ever needed.”
Since those first head of sheep, Missy and Joe have had to adapt to the growth of the business with management practices that can only be learned by digging in.
“Our products are high-end specialty food products that are sold through natural food retailers in the bay area. We are competing with large brands with deep pocket books. We were the first to bottle sheep milk for retail in the nation, and our product is sold at a high price point, so quality is key. We have learned it is ok to say, “No,” which is not always easy in sales! Your product needs to be a fit for the retailer it is sold in. We now know steady growth is key along with quality and criticism. Never did I think an email would bring me to tears, well with any business you have to take the good and the bad. We have received a surplus in wonderful heartfelt emails, but you do get those ‘not liking your product’ emails from time to time. I have learned to dry the tears, and know that not everyone can LOVE your products, and to instead perfect them. Our products have come leaps and bound thanks to our consumers and their feedback. In turn allowing us to perfect each of our products to make them the best they can be!”
Through their product growth management, Missy and Joe dream of their products eventually being sold back east. Since Missy is from the east coast, she knows the market very well! The couple has immediate plans of expanding their ice cream sales through southern California and the Pacific Northwest, as well as adding a few new flavors to the product line (flavor suggestions welcome!) and offering 8 oz grab and go half pints.
As a #farmwife myself, I know just how difficult it is to manage a farm. But to build a farm from the ground up, and create a successful brand of products in a 5 year period… Well that’s nearly impossible. Haverton Hill Creamy is truly something special.
“Seeing our products on the shelves of major high-end retailers next to brands that have been around for years is one of the most rewarding things of the business. We do everything ourselves with a small creamery and only a few employees. So we are really involved in every aspect of our business. The day we launched into all of northern California’s Whole Foods was a huge accomplishment. We were the crazy farmers in the aisle taking selfies with our products! Our website, our creamery, our branding, our animals. It was almost surreal to know we did it, by ourselves and the people love our products. It has been much more gratifying than we ever could have imagined.”