Sheep milk brings different flavour to new Blue River Dairy cafe in Invercargill

Gareth Lyness and Courtney Forde of Blue River Dairy are setting up shop for the new Sheep Milk Coffee Bar on Nith Street.
JOHN HAWKINS/FAIRFAX NZ

Gareth Lyness and Courtney Forde of Blue River Dairy are setting up shop for the new Sheep Milk Coffee Bar on Nith Street.

Coffee, cheese rolls and milkshakes are all part of the quintessential Southland cafe experience, but at a new Invercargill cafe they come with a twist.

All three products at Blue River Dairy's new cafe are made with sheep milk.

The Invercargill-based company, which was sold to its new Chinese owners earlier this year, will open the doors to its new Nith St cafe on Saturday.

READ MORE:
* Blue River Dairy sold to Chinese company
* Foreign investment Blue River Dairy's 'only option'

Sales and marketing director Gareth Lyness said it would be a unique experience.

Opening to coincide with New Zealand Cheese Month, the cafe would also offer tasting experiences in a similar way to wineries and breweries, Lyness said.

"It's sort of a re-opening and we're doing things a bit differently," Lyness said.

"Sheep milk is really the key point of difference," he said.

He hoped the sheep milk coffee would bring with it word-of-mouth success.

"If it's successful, people give them that story to tell," Lyness said.

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"Within the local community we can engage more with that point of contact."

Blue River is also offering Southlanders the chance to have their own cheese rolls on the menu by holding a Facebook competition to see who has the best recipe.

The cafe will be open from Tuesday to Saturday. 

While sheep milk may not be everyone's cup of tea, Lyness said a lot of people who experienced problems with digesting lactose had more success with sheep milk.

"Cow's milk takes four hours to digest, whereas sheep milk is 45 minutes."

Producing milk powder and artisan cheeses, Blue River Dairy is also looking to make its sheep milk infant formula available to New Zealand and Australian buyers. 

The company has been selling the formula in China since September, but there are different requirements to meet for New Zealand and Australia's infant formula specifications.

READ MORE:
* Blue River Dairy gets Chinese certification for baby formula
* Chinese ambassador talks up sheep milk infant formula

 - Stuff

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