I signed up for home dairy delivery (a milk man) when YA was two. As a single parent, “running up to the store” isn’t as simple as it sounds, and it felt like we were always running out of Yo-J or milk or eggs. When a neighbor mentioned that she used to have a milk man, my ears perked up. I contacted Kemps Home Delivery and two days later, I got a call from Mike. He started deliveries the next week and he is still bringing us dairy and other assorted food items every week.
There are about 50 milk men in the Twin Cities area and Mike has been in business for more than 40 years. He loads up his truck every morning at the Kemp’s warehouse and then hits the road. I leave my order form (and payment for the week before) on the front door. He gets those items I from his truck, puts them in my fridge, gives the dogs and cats a treat and leaves a blank order form with the amount of the order for me to pay next week.
Mike’s wife, Suzie, does the office and phone management and both of them are as nice as can be. They have grown kids and two grandkids, who feature in the yearly holiday newsletter. Every Thanksgiving, they help manage and run a project called The Thanksgiving Free Store. It’s just what it sounds like, food and other necessities provided for those in need, absolutely free. They spend the year raising money and getting donations, things like socks, backpacks, warm clothing, coats and food, lots of food. I’ve been supporting this effort for quite a few years now.
Mike is pleasant and personable. If I’m home on a Friday when he delivers, it’s always nice to have some conversation with him. I’m one of his last deliveries of the week, so he is never rushed when he’s at my place. When we first started deliveries, he used to leave my items in a cooler on the front steps, but after a couple of months, I gave him a key (he has a HUGE keychain). I figured if we got robbed with no clear break-in, the cops would look to anybody who had keys first; I doubt Mike would want to put his only business at risk for anything I had laying around!
For the last couple of months, I’ve been worried about Mike. The Kemp’s warehouse announced (without much warning) that they would only be open four days a week because there were only a couple of milk men delivering on Fridays. We got our delivery changed to Tuesdays (not a big deal) but I started to think that maybe the milk man business was dying out. Although Mike is close to retirement age, it would be better for him to retire when it’s good for him rather than for his business to shrink away.
Well, I don’t have to worry any more. As someone who delivers food to your house, guess whose business has grown dramatically in the last three weeks? In fact, the demand has grown so much that Kemps is thinking about re-opening the warehouse on Fridays. And since Mike works alone, social distancing isn’t a problem; Suzy asked folks to re-instate the cooler system a couple of weeks ago, so Mike doesn’t even have to come in the house right now. As soon as he drives off (Guinevere always lets us know when Mike is here) we go out and get our items out of the cooler. The only ones really suffering are the animals, who don’t get their weekly treat from Mike!
Are you having anything new delivered to your place these days?