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.
Our Farm Now
We are a 3rd generation family farm based just outside Dromore Co Down. Our family started farming at Islandderry in 1975 and from 1981-1997 we processed our own milk in our onsite dairy plant delivering to local shops and larger stores throughout Ireland. Names familiar to the older generation: such as Stewarts and Crazy Prices group, eventually bought over by Tesco.
In 2020 the world changed, pandemic hit and we had time to reflect and watch what was happening to the market. Nostalgia with a back to basics attitude, the buyer now wants farm fresh quality products delivered or readily available. We had been working on the concept for some time but now was the time. Our desire to bottle our own milk, add value to our raw product from the farm and in turn spin our own thread of nostalgia following in the footsteps of our grandparents Bertie and Anita Wilson led us to take this step forward. Our decision to use glass bottles instead of plastic containers is driven by the damaging effect plastic is having on our environment. This also give us a very attractive product, cow to cup, who needs a jug? On the next delivery we simply collect the old bottles left out for us for reuse.
Times may have changed and technology is more advanced but our commitment on the farm and care of our cows is paramount. We milk 600 cows at Islandderry and my dad Alan and two brothers Christopher and Harry know every drop of milk each cow produces their attention to detail with animal health and husbandry is second to none. They believe that happy cows produce higher quality milk, thus why they ensure the cows have the best possible bedding and are fed high quality feed from local suppliers. #farmfresh #happycows #backtobasics
Why support a local farm?
Traceability- we can provide full traceability from our farm to your table.
Local- as we deliver local all produce is as fresh as possible and from a local source from the raw materials that go into the very beginning of the process such as the meal we feed the cows.
Free Delivery- we do not charge extra for delivery on top of our product prices.
Protect the environment- by reducing food miles and therefore helping to reduce the carbon footprint.
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 am the production manager, I am 22 years old, I studied business management. I am planning to continue generations of Island diaries milk production within the bottling industry.