It’s not every day a chef turns their hand to plant-based milk, and delivers that same passion for flavour into their product. For patrons of the Mullumbimby Farmers Market however, that is exactly the treat they now have at their fingertips, thanks to Byron Bay Milk Company. Owned by David Edgson and Aarna Hudson, the team together has more than 30 years of experience in food production. Chef Dave Edgson said it all fell into place after he was working as a production manager for a vegan chocolate company and plant-based milk was also being made on the premises. After learning the process, the opportunity came up to purchase the equipment and start doing it himself, and thus Byron Bay Milk Company was born. Offerings include pecan, macadamia, coconut and almond milk – all produced in glass bottles, which are reused to reduce waste (customers can swap back their empty bottle for a full bottle to help sustainability and save on the bottle cost per purchase). David says the rapid local following that has grown at the Mullum Farmers Market is evidence that the community cares about well-made local products and environmentally friendly business models. ‘People are changing daily in Australia to plant-based products, so having the ability to make something that tastes good, and that I am also extremely proud of, is great,’ David says. ‘I want to change people’s experience of plant-based milks. They can taste exceptional. ‘As a chef I want to create something that I would enjoy, and if it’s not a high quality product that I would consume, I won’t sell it to my customers. That’s why we put so much effort into the flavour and quality of our milk.’ David says he loves the process of creating something so much that he doesn’t mind the 3am starts that it takes to produce, deliver and also sell at the markets the 500 litres of plant-based milk. ‘One of the most interesting factors is having the ability to extract flavour from something that is dehydrated or dried, such as a nut, and to preserve that flavour within a milk,’ he says. ‘My whole goal, that I have carried over from my time working as a chef, is to work with flavours and infusions. ‘I also love the variety of customers I get to interact with at the farmers markets, and I look forward to further building those relationships with the community as the year goes on.’
If you’d like to try these terrific milks, you can find Byron Bay Milk Company at the Mullumbimby Farmers Markets every Friday from 7am to 11am, and don’t forget to return your bottle to support sustainability.