Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Toy Cow Creamery

To travel across Pennsylvania on I-80 is to pass through an absolute culinary desert - until now. No, Danny Myer didn't open up a Shake Shack in Clearfield (home of Denny's Beer Barrel Pub where they have the 6 lb. pants shitting hamburger challenge) or DuBois (pronounced DOO-boyz, true story), but there is a gem of a farm that sits to the north of the interstate called Toy Cow Creamery.

You're probably thinking, "Hey, why no link to Toy Cow Creamery?"

Why? Because there is no link. This place is U-N-D-E-R-G-R-O-U-N-D. Not underground like the railroad (which when I was a kid thought was some 19th century engineering marvel, where slaves bought tickets in the Deep South to ride up north of the Mason Dixon line - all underground. Sorry, I went to public school.) But underground, like not only is there not a website, you can't even find a phone number.

Who does that? Amish - that's who.

So how do you find a place like this? It all started with a yogurt container.

My wife eats yogurt EVERY morning. If we go on vacation or travel somewhere there's inevitably going to be some sort of yogurt search. I used to get annoyed by it, but now it's just become a fact of life. When we went to the The Great Chef's Event in June we headed back on the Ohio turnpike. Not by accident, we stayed in Kennett Square and were going to go to Pequea Valley Farm to pick up - what else - yogurt. That morning we stopped at Talula's Table (awesome place by the way) where Regina bought some stuff, including Toy Cow Yogurt.

"This is as good as Pequea!", she chirped.

"Good. Hopefully it's closer to my house than Pequea.", I thought.

She saved the container and decided she would investigate it when she got back. After numerous phone calls between Telula's Table, the Lancaster Farm Fresh Food Co-op, and finally the actual Toy Cow Creamery - I was given my marching orders. I was to pick up as much yogurt as could be stuffed in the cooler bag.

The Cell Block: Home of Death Row Pizza

*As an aside I drove through Williamsport in hopes of eating at Death Row Pizza - I couldn't help but want to try it. I love the name. When I got to the address, it turned out to be a night club called The Cell Block. Housed in a 19th century prison, the overwhelming smell of Cleveland Municipal Stadium (urine and stale beer) was enough to curb my appetite. I immediately got back out the front door before anyone saw me.*

As I made my way up some rather large hills - or possibly mountains - I arrived at a long narrow drive with a handmade sign at the end. Once you make it down the gravel entrance you see some pens with some little jersey cows and some hutches with Silky chickens.

A Toy Cow?
The store for the farm is located near where the pens are. Once inside you notice that they work on the honor system. There's a little box to put your money in once you've decided on what you're going to be purchasing. When I went Levi was working nearby and talked to me awhile about their products.

Toy Cow's offerings include eight kinds of yogurt, pasteurized and raw milks, cream cheese, sour cream, raw milk cheeses, cheese curds, and cottage cheese. If you would have told me I was on an Amish farm I wouldn't have believed it judging by modern store. Levi basically said that everything at the farm is done organically. When I asked about the chickens, he told me that his son raises them for a producer. (From what I was able to gather they're usually used in Asian restaurants.)

Silky Chickens

I have to say, If you you're making the mind numbing trip along 80 through Pennsylvania, a visit here would definitely break the trip up a little bit.


  1. Did you say that they sell raw milk?? Is that allowed in PA? Not my thing, but I know folks who would really love that.

  2. That's the same question I asked Levi when he told me they carried it. You're allowed to sell raw milk and raw milk products in Pennsylvania if you have a raw milk license. According to him, the department of agriculture takes random samples of their raw milk and tests it for Listeria whatever. Raw milk isn't my thing either but, hey, if it makes you happy. I jokingly asked Levi if it was easier than get a driver's license. I just got a blank stare.

  3. Thanks for your post. I have been living around Williamsport for over 5 years, and amazingly I haven't check this place out yet! Especially I love milk product!I just knew this place couple weeks ago when I bought some cheese and yogurt from an Amish guy in the local famer's market. Their flovered cheese is great, I especially like the garlic and chive($4.99 per pound) one. Then I noticed this farm called Toy Cow that is not far from us at all. I was in the farmer's market today, I got some more of the cheese, and I got 2 gallons of organic milk for just $4.5 each. The price is great for organic milk product, much cheaper than grocery store. Thanks to your post, at least I know I still could get their products even the summer farmer's market ends. BTW, do you know if they open on Sunday?

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  5. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I'm 95% sure they're not open on Sundays (even for the self serve). If you stop in - ask - let me know and I'll update the post. Thanks!

  6. I will ask them about this when I am at the famer's market next time, and let you know:)

  7. I love their milk and yogurt! I've been lactose intolerant for over 10 years but didn't have the slightest problem drinking their milk. Can you provide an address or directions so that I can drive to the farm myself? Thanks!

  8. The mango yogurt is thee BEST!! We are lucky and get their yogurt and eggs every weekend during farmer's market. :)


  9. Golden.. did you know the farmers market will be moving to the parking complex.. and toy cow will be there.. :) I believe the move is going to happen the weekend after Thanksgiving.

    Leah.. address TOY COW CREAMERY 7859 ROUTE 654.. don't know where you are coming from...


  10. I have a phone number for them!
    They say to call them at 8am or leave a message! They also offer grass-fed beef if you order ahead!

  11. Oh and hours of operation are Monday thru Sat 8am-6pm. No Sunday sales.

  12. I think their yogurt is made from raw milk...right?

  13. While they DO sell raw milk products, their yogurt is pastuerized. I can't say that they don't sell a raw milk version (maybe someone can help with that), but the stuff we got was not made from raw milk.

  14. I've never had the yogurt smoothie, for any that has, would you know what the ingredients are for that drink? And what the shelf life on it is? Thanks! =)

  15. They also have a stand at the farmer's market in Lewisburg on Wednesdays. Their chocolate milk is by far the best chocolate milk I've ever tasted. I've never been a super fan of organic foods, but toy cow creamery chocolate milk tastes like a milkshake.