Thriving dairy farm grew out of just wanting to protect a view

- Spend time on Bantam Road in Bantam, Connecticut, and you won't find cows roaming the streets, but there are signs of them everywhere: ice cream, milk, cheese, you name it.

It's all part of Arethusa Farm Dairy, which George Malkemus and Tony Yurgaitis bought in the mid-1990s. George says they did it selfishly to protect their view. At the time, Arethusa was a horse farm across the street from their home and there were rumors that developers were trying to scoop it up.

George says the property was Arethusa Farm about 100 years ago, and so they went into town and bought the name back from the town hall for about $25.

Then they got to work making it a dairy farm once again. Tony says they started with five cows, about two years after they bought the farm, and those cows kept on calving and calving.

Tony and George started making milk and selling it to a commercial farm, but when the recession hit around 2009 they decided to bottle their own. George says it made a lot of sense financially. They were getting 80 cents a gallon when they were selling the milk commercially. When they started bottling their own, that jumped to $8 a gallon.

Today, Arethusa has 138 employees and nearly 400 impeccably groomed cows on 350 sprawling acres. Plus, an ice cream shop, a café, and a restaurant, all just 90 miles from New York City.

Manhattan is where Tony and George spend their weekdays as vice president and president, respectively, of Manolo Blahnik USA. They're the shoes Sarah Jessica Parker helped make famous as Carrie in Sex and the City.

It's very different work, but the same philosophy. Tony and George often say that when you're passionate, it envelopes everything: personal life, business life, and hobbies.

The cows here have won a host of awards at just about every fair in the country. And Arethusa cheese is award-winning, too. Their blue cheese won Best Blue at the World Cheese Contest in Madison, Wisconsin.

Cheesemaker Matt Benham oversees 10 different kinds of cheese at the farm and he was happy to share with us.

Arethusa made a special cheese for three-Michelin-star restaurant Eleven Madison Park.

The cheeses are also served in First Class on British Airways.

Each one is named for someone or something local, like Tapping Reeve, a local 18th-century lawyer. The cheese itself is an old English style of cheese.

Everything at Arethusa is made with the same philosophy: ice cream like it used to taste, butter like it used to taste. And it's all thanks to the ladies of Arethusa Farm Dairy, whom you can visit in the main milking barn every Saturday from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

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