IT STARTED just over a year ago when Southgate dairy farmers Jo and Rod Madden installed a processing and bottling plant on their property and launched their brand, Big River Milk.
Big River now supplies 13 Coles supermarkets between Toormina and Ocean Shores with four more to come in the next few weeks.
Coles Grafton Mall manager Frank McDermott said he was thrilled to see the local milk in store.
"My customers have been calling for us to supply it for a long time and now we have started stocking it, it's been flying off the shelf," Mr McDermott said.
"They love it. All my team have sampled it and they love it too. It's so fresh - it's as fresh as you can get and you know where it's coming from. I see it as a great opportunity to help local people and it makes me feel proud."
Jo Madden said the 12 months had been great.
"It's great to see it on the shelves at Coles - even my son took a photo and sent it to me when it first went in," Jo said.
"We're slowly increasing herd numbers and have a lot of new heifers coming.
"Our intention has always been to bottle everything we produce.
"The factory is going well and we have a unique situation in that Richmond Dairies will take any milk we have over, so there's never been any wastage."
The highlight of the past year was picking up several awards from the 2014 Royal Queensland Food and Wine Show, including Dairy Australia Champion, knocking out some of the country's biggest brands.
But finding the right employees to fill two farm roles had been frustrating.
After a news story aired on Prime News on Tuesday night, the business was inundated with job applications but all of them failed to address the main requirements of the position.
"What we're looking for is someone who has experience with cattle and who wants to work in the industry," she said.
"Someone with some basic animal sense."
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