Alston Dairy, Longridge

The Longridge lass who founded this expanding dairy business is still very much at
the vanguard of developing the products that bear her name.

“When buyers from big supermarkets ring the office, they can’t believe Ann Forshaw
actually exists and they are speaking direct to her,” laughs the sprightly grandmother
who almost single-handedly started a dairy empire.

“When we started out it was just me and my sister and we made the yoghurt in one
gallon batches in the farmhouse kitchen. Our big break came when we exhibited at a
big food show at Preston Guild Hall.

“More than 15,000 people attended it and we knew we had the chance to get hundreds
of orders off the back of it. That’s when we decided to scale up production – and
that’s when the trouble really started.

“We had to completely rework the recipes to get the flavour and texture right at larger
volumes and we had to fill 10,000 pots by hand between three of us. I actually had to
climb inside the huge vat we had bought to get the last few gallons of yoghurt out!

 

A quote from Ann Forshaw

“Three decades later, all our milk still comes fresh from the family herd of 500 Friesians who all graze in the Ribble Valley and we get all our fruit from the same local supplier. Times have been tough for diary farmers recently, but the yoghurt business has kept the farming business afloat.”

“Unlike some of the bigger dairies, we make our yoghurts the slow way with a 24-
hour incubation to create a unique texture and more rounded flavour and we add a
generous dollop of double cream to give it an even more luxurious taste.

“We supply our premium Farmhouse Yoghurt range to the Bowland Food Hall, but
we also do lower fat lines for the more calorie-conscious customer. We’re all about
supporting local suppliers and businesses and we really hope the Food Hall creates a
showcase for the fantastic local produce we have in this lovely little corner of
Lancashire.”

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