We are kicking off a kickstarter event August 1st- September 30th to help us get a glass bottle program running in the Flathead.

A quick Kalispell Kreamery glass bottle story…

In the 70's Bill and Marilyn Hedstrom were fulfilling the wholesome concept of raw milk sales in reusable glass bottles. Straight from the farm to your table with as little environmental impact as possible. Hedstrom's were milking just enough cows to support the family and were managing a sustainable farm. With the change of times and outlawing of raw milk in Montana, the dairy had to make some major changes from retail raw milk sales into regulated bulk milk sales through cooperatives. The co-ops would process, package and sell the milk under the co-ops own label. With this model the dairy was forced to grow its herd to be able to sustain itself but strived to maintain its conservative practices of reusing and recycling.

As the concept of bottling their own milk again was becoming a reality with Kalispell Kreamery, the dairy revisited glass bottle packaging. Circumstances, however, did not allow for reusable glass bottles to be part of the plan at the time. But it has always been on the backburner, just waiting for the right ignition…

Why reusable glass bottles now?

Recently plastic recycling has become more challenging in our community. We have had an extreme increase in demand for us to offer our milk in reusable glass bottles as a result. After much thought and consideration, we have decided that now is the time to try a reusable glass bottle milk program, but we need the support of our community to make it happen. To see our thought process in this decision or for more information visit our "no more recycled plastic " page.

The project

We currently bottle about 2000 gallons of milk a day, directly from our own milk herd. Our milk is all Cream-On-Top and as close to raw as you can get in the state of Montana. Our processing facility is situated right next to our milking barn. Our time between cow and your table is 24 hours. That is fresh milk! Our reusable glass bottle program will be housed in the same facility, after some remodeling, and will offer the same great Cream-On-Top Whole milk that our community has come to trust and enjoy. ½ gallon Cream-On-Top glass bottles will be available in select area grocery stores (check website at a future date for locations) and at our farm store through our milk club. Purchase of the milk will require a $2.00 milk bottle deposit in addition to the milk cost. After you have used the milk in your glass bottle, return it to the location and exchange for a full bottle or get your deposit back. It will be an interesting time for us as we work out the logistics and management of a whole new concept for us.

What we need help with?

To offer a reusable glass bottle program we will have to make some changes to our current facility and make some expensive purchases. All of this will require a considerable investment with very little return. We really want to help but from a business point of view, we are selling all of our milk through our current method, so the investment of a new project will not increase our income. It will just transfer milk sales from one form to another, which makes it hard to cover the investment of the new project. To get the project up and running we will need to:

  • remodel current facility to accommodate bottle receiving, washing, sanitizing, filling, and storage;
  • purchase bottle washers, filling equipment, milk holding tanks, and additional track and piping;
  • purchase a delivery vehicle specially designed to handle receiving of dirty glass bottles and delivering of fresh product;
  • and purchase initial glass bottles and specially designed crates for handling the glass bottles.
Estimated Project Total is $150,000.00.

How you can help.

Help us keep plastic bottles out of the landfill! Go to kickstarter between August 1st and September 30th to pledge financial support for our project. Each pledge will receive a little something from us as a thank you for the support.

Project time line

  • Kickstarter August 1st-September 30th
  • Begin Remodel, Purchasing, Install- October 2018
  • Glass Bottle Program Begins- June 2019
  • Award Deliver- June/July 2019