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Not-so-secret dairy

Milking it in inner-city Melbourne.

The north of Melbourne, no stranger to microbreweries, now has a micro-dairy. The Saint David Dairy in Fitzroy opened in June and is distributing milk direct from the farm (all within 100 kilometres of Fitzroy) to an increasing number of inner-city cafés and restaurants, including The Town Mouse, the Brunswick East Project, Backstreet Eating, and Newtown Social Club. There are plans to open a retail outlet within the year and to extend the dairy's range of milk and cream to include butter, cheese, yoghurt and flavoured milk.

Saint David Dairy owner Ben Evans comes from a fourth-generation farming family and says that there are elements of both the past and the present in his micro-dairy. "In 1920 there were 27 dairies in Fitzroy, so we're reviving that history in a way," he says. "But there's also an increasing awareness about using quality milk in cafés. It seems logical that if you're going to be putting so much effort into sourcing great coffee beans that you'd also want to use the best-quality milk as well."

There's also the environmental benefit of reducing food miles and, perhaps best of all, being able to buy milk with cream on top. Saint David Dairy, 16-18 St David St, Fitzroy, Vic, (03) 9415 7732.

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