Grocery Life 13, 2015

Grocery Life January 13, 2015milk case

By Tom Butler 

Good afternoon from Butler and Bailey Market. I hope everyone is having a good week. The weather continues to be cold and we added about a foot of rain to that yesterday. Still not complaining, still glad I have a warm and dry place to work and sleep. When the KUB bills come I may have a different attitude, we’ll see.


The year has started out good for business. Typically, business slows in the cold months but so far it is holding up pretty well. We are always trying to figure out why business is the way it is, good or bad. About the time we think we have it figured out, it changes so I don’t spend a lot of time on that mind twister. I do know low gas prices are putting more money in all of our pockets so maybe that’s why business is good.

I would have thought low gas prices would be great for the U.S. economy but the stock market doesn’t seem to think so. It keeps going down with the oil prices. I would be the first to tell you I can’t figure out what makes the stock market go up or down either.

January is when we negotiate a lot of our contracts with suppliers for the year. It seems like we do less and less of this each year. Most of these contracts are with national brand companies and I think they are turning most of their attention to big chain store accounts. That’s ok with me. I never like negotiating with some stranger I only see once a year.

We don’t have contracts with our smaller suppliers; we do handshake deals with them. That is more my speed. They give me their word and I give them mine and we rarely have a problem.

One of my favorite suppliers is Cruze Dairy Farm. We buy milk and ice cream from them. Their farm is in Kodak, Tennessee on the banks of the French Broad River. I send them an order every week and they deliver every Friday. A member of the Cruze family always delivers the milk. If you are looking for “farm to table” products, this is a classic example and the farmer even brings it.

cruze milk

We also have brought in a new line of milk this month. It is from a company called Fairlife. This is what I would call”super” milk. It is an ultra-filtered milk so they have taken out all of the “bad” qualities in milk leaving only the beneficial qualities. I brought some home last night to try. I can tell you it tastes like milk. For those of you that have problems with drinking milk, you may want to research this one.

fairlife milk

It is amazing how many varieties of milk we have. We have regular milk, super milk, local milk, almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, etc. etc.

milk case

The milk I grew up on was delivered to our front door every morning. I think Avondale was the dairy that delivered it and am pretty sure it came in glass bottles. I think later on they switched to paper cartons.

avondale dairy

I don’t know how many varieties they offered. My guess would be two, whole milk and a low-fat option. I also don’t know how my mother ordered it and paid for it. I know it wasn’t by email and Internet like we do today. She probably left a handwritten note on the door for her order and maybe an envelope with a check in it to pay.

I do remember when they quit delivering milk to our front door. I also remember wondering what we were going to do about milk even though we went to the grocery store every week. I don’t think I would have ever thought about my mother getting milk there. I probably didn’t even know you could get milk there. I guess that’s what we did after they quit delivering and I am sure we all complained about it not being the same.

Many years later, when I left home, our concrete front porch still bore milk stains from those deliveries so many years ago. I don’t know if my mother left them there as a reminder of the “good ole days” or if they were so ingrained they couldn’t be removed. Either way, every time I see a milk stain on our cooler floor at the store I always think about that milk that used to come to my front door every morning.


Have a good week and…


Thanks for letting us be a part of your community,

Tom Butler


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 Butler and Bailey Market

7513 Northshore Dr.

Knoxville, TN 37919


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