3rd Generation Family-Owned Business
As told by Alanna Wilson
Our farm was originally called ‘Islandderry’ which means ‘Land of Oak’ in Gaelic. The Islandderry house is 3 story partially restored 16th century house with walled gardens and lake, nestling in the townland of Islandderry. The house was built in the early 1600s on the site of an earlier rath by the prosperous Waddell family. Our family bought the farm in 1975 and moved to Dromore from Kircubbin Co Down, although both Bertie and Anita Wilson did originate from the Dromore and Hillsborough area.
In 1979, the milk price was poor and our grandmother Anita Wilson suggested to her husband Bertie that they should start bottling their own milk. Anita grew up in Hillsborough, and on a Sunday afternoon she would help the milk maids at the Hillsborough Research Park and here she developed a passion for bottling milk.
Bertie developed the bottling plant, Anita knew he was working away she didn’t know how long it would be before they were up and going, then one evening in 1981 Bertie came home and simply announced the production plant was ready to go! Without wasting any time the next morning Anita was off to Banbridge to see if she could sell their milk. In the first shop, the owner, Mr Walsh asked Anita bluntly “Mrs Wilson why should I buy your milk?” thinking on her feet she chuckled “because it is whiter!” The sense of fun and hard work paid off!
As most farming businesses progress, more family became involved. Anita’s daughter, our Aunt Alex and son our Uncle Roger joined the business and ran the processing plant, producing the milk under the guidance of their father Bertie. The farm was run by the remaining two brothers our Uncle David and our dad, Alan. The farm is currently run by our Dad, Alan and his two sons Christopher and Harry.
Our grandfather, Bertie sadly passed away and the dairy stopped processing milk in 1997.
Meet The Team
I am the second generation of the Wilson family, farming at Islanddery. I manage the farm ensuring the cows are kept healthy and happy.
I manage the office, answering all your phone calls and offering advice on our latest produce.
I manage the processing and product development. I am planning to continue generations of Island diaries milk production within the bottling industry.