We founded St Helen’s Farm in 1986 on a smallholding near Barmby on the Marsh in East Yorkshire. It was located next to a church called St Helen’s, from which the name of the farm was chosen.
We met at agricultural college and had a desire to enter goat farming when we realised that goats’ milk was of great appeal to people who could not tolerate cows’ milk.
In those days, most of the goats’ milk you could buy was from individual farms and supermarkets were dominated by cows’ milk products. We began milking 500 goats and soon started supplying supermarkets such as Waitrose and Hillards with, initially, a blend of sheep and goats’ milk yogurts.
From those early beginnings, the farm steadily grew until the business moved to a greenfield site at Seaton Ross in the Vale of York in the early 1990’s. The new location meant that we could expand the herd and the extra land could be used to grow crops to feed the goats. A modern dairy was also built, which enabled us to pack St Helen’s Farm fresh goats’ milk into cartons and make other products such as butter, cream and yogurts.
Today, the 550 acre farm is home to more than 3,500 goats and 45 employees who make the products that supply supermarkets across the country on a daily basis. The consumer liking for goats’ milk products has grown significantly and we now supplement our own supply of goats’ milk with daily collections from other supplying farms in order to meet this rising demand.
There have been many changes in the past 27 years but we believe our focus on good animal welfare and attention to quality at all stages of the process has remained a constant philosophy. This has enabled us to produce a top quality goats’ milk that continues to be enjoyed by increasing numbers of our customers each year.
Angus and Kathleen Wielkopolski