Traders Point Creamery Delivers Delicious Dairy
On land that was part of her grandmother’s legacy, Jane Elder Kunz and husband Fritz found fertile ground to share their passion for nutrition with the world.
In 2003, they opened Traders Point Creamery in Zionsville, just northwest of Indianapolis. The organic, 100 percent grass-fed dairy and artisan creamery would go on to become Indiana’s first U.S. Department of Agriculture-certified organic creamery.
Since its founding, the creamery has grown to include a farmstead restaurant, dairy bar and farm store. With its scenic location and historic barns, it also makes the perfect backdrop for memorable special events.
The venture was inspired by the Kunzes’ appetite for pure, full-fat, organic products – and a lack of such options in the dairy aisle. Today, they produce artisan dairy products for consumers across the nation.
“Fritz is a physician, and the entire family is passionate about what goes into our bodies,” says Mark Vander Kooy, CEO of Traders Point Creamery.
They also have a love for historic barns, four of which have become the heart of the farm.
Salvaged from a site in northern Indiana, the barns were dismantled, moved and put back together on the Kunz’s property by Amish craftsmen. Today, those four barns give the creamery a rustic feel and pay homage to Indiana’s early farmers.
“They are beautiful barns. They look like they’ve been here forever,” Vander Kooy says. “There are no nails in them. They are all post-and-beam. People are always amazed by the barns.”
After the barns came the cows. Today, the creamery is home to a herd of about 125 Brown Swiss and Jersey cows, chosen for the protein and fat levels in their milk.
Along with its dairy cows, the farm raises grass-fed cows for beef, as well as pasture-raised chickens and whey-fed pigs. Two large gardens supply most of the vegetables served at The Loft restaurant.
“We serve farm-to-fork meals as much as possible. Anything not produced on the farm is procured from a small group of partner farms,” Vander Kooy says. “We strive to serve meals that are 100 percent organic – as pure as we could possibly be.”
For those who can’t make it to the farm, the creamery’s award-winning milks, yogurts and cheeses are available in national grocery chains including Kroger, Whole Foods and Meijer.
Along with its popular yogurts, “Our cottage cheese is phenomenal, and everybody loves our chocolate milk,” Vander Kooy says. “But we are best known for our eggnog.”
In many ways, Traders Point Creamery products seem a tribute to a bygone time.
To enhance taste and offer the safest-possible storage, dairy products are packaged in glass. In addition, most of the creamery’s products are full fat for better absorption of the milk’s nutrients in the body.
“We offer a niche product. It costs a lot to do organic and use glass containers, but we believe in the benefits,” Vander Kooy says. “The challenge is to make an artisan product scalable and sustainable.”
To meet customer demand, Traders Point Creamery contracts with a network of eight organic, 100 percent grass-fed dairy farms in Indiana.
Vander Kooy savors working with like-minded farming partners and more than 100 employees with a shared passion.
“These are salt-of-the-earth people who care about producing a great product,” he says. “They are super talented and passionate about being part of something bigger than themselves.”
Every year, the farm welcomes an estimated 250,000 visitors. Beyond the opportunity to experience farm-fresh food, the public is invited to view the evening milking or take a self-guided farm and nature walk. The creamery also offers guided group tours, all to help consumers reconnect with their food.
“The food we eat is vital. We want people to be interested in farming and knowledgeable about where their food comes from,” Vander Kooy says. “At Traders Point Creamery, we strive to create products and an environment that encourage people to take time to eat healthy food and enjoy it.”