Maartje and Casey Murphy, the founders of Cows & Co Creamery, serve as the driving force and visionaries of the business based just outside Carrington on a quaint farm. In just over five years, the small homemade gelato company, originally Duchessa Gelato, has grown to reach customers nationwide. Now selling made-from-scratch artisan gouda cheese, cheese curds and gelato, you can purchase their products from their on-farm store (the Milkhouse) or Creamery Café, at their Brewhalla location in Fargo, pre-order online for delivery to ten different cities state-wide, or have gouda shipped nation-wide. “Cows & Co was inspired by the feeling of enjoying a fresh scoop of gelato on the patio where I’m from in the Netherlands,” Maartje explained. “I wanted to bring that piece of home here to North Dakota, using fresh milk right from Vanbedaf Dairy, my family dairy farm.” Before establishing Duchessa Gelato in 2018, Maartje attended Gelato University in the Netherlands to learn the craft, while her mother contributed her expertise in making gouda cheese, a skill she also acquired in the Netherlands.
Even though you can purchase their products online for delivery, Maartje and Casey are passionate about creating an experience for their customers at the Creamery Café. A couple times a month you can visit the creamery and in addition to cheese and gelato, they offer a unique menu of treats and beverages, including lattes, Dutch pancakes, fried cheese curds, gouda mac & cheese, and more! “We love giving our customers an opportunity to ‘meet the makers’ and see where everything is made,” Maartje said.
As a small business, Maartje explains that it’s challenging working with such a small team while trying to keep up with demand as the business grows. “We never want to sacrifice quality or being able to serve our customers.” With Maartje coming from an entrepreneurial family and her experience in nursing, and Casey’s background in physical therapy, excellent customer service is what they strive for.
Despite challenges, Maartje and Casey have leveraged the technology and resources available to them to help run their business smoothly and efficiently, while still preserving much of the history from the original farm on which the creamery sits. Cows & Co is connected with Dakota Central’s Small Business Managed Wi-Fi, which allows customers to connect to their guest Wi-Fi when visiting the café or make credit card purchases at the Milkhouse. “It might sound cliché, but we couldn’t run our business without Dakota Central services. We do everything online- from marketing our product, to operating our point-of-sale systems, managing online orders, updating the website, and offering guest Wi-Fi,” Maartje said.
While their business has taken off successfully in five short years, they are always scheming and dreaming at Cows & Co. In the future Maartje and Casey hope to offer additional dairy products like yogurt and milk, host workshops, and achieve the big goal of shipping frozen gelato nationwide. Cows & Co. has grown to cater to customers across the nation, yet we take pride in their connection to Carrington, which they call home. Dakota Central is honored to support them in delivering their products to you!