Goat Lady Dairy—one of the first licensed goat dairies in North Carolina—has been sold to longtime staff cheesemakers Carrie Routh Bradds and Bobby Bradds for an undisclosed amount.
“We are so pleased that Carrie and Bobby and their farm family will continue and expand what we started,” said co-founder Steve Tate in a press release.
The Bradds have remained loyal to the dairy and the Tates for more than 20 years. The co-founders—Ginnie Tate (the “Goat Lady”), her brother Steve, and Steve’s wife Lee—opened Goat Lady Dairy in 1995. That same year, Bobby Bradds and his father-in-law Tommy Routh built the dairy’s multipurpose barn that would house the goats, creamery, dining room, and kitchen.
Meanwhile, Carrie Routh Bradds learned how to make cheese there, ultimately becoming Goat Lady Dairy’s first full-time staff member. She eventually became the production manager, while her husband was named lead cheesemaker. They have since managed cheesemaking and production aspects, and sales more than doubled following a creamery expansion in 2013. Having worked with the Tates from the start, it seemed logical for the couple to become the next owners.
“We built the farm, built the dairy, so I think it was a natural thing,” Routh Bradds tells culture. “I don’t think there was any other choice.”
In 2009, Ginnie passed away and by 2015, Steve and Lee Tate were ready to retire and were looking for the dairy’s next owners. Routh Bradds explains that she and her husband “really wanted it” but had concerns over financing. They submitted an offer in June 2016, and over the past year, they acquired the funds they needed. They moved into the farm and started running all aspects of the dairy in September 2016, and final papers were signed two months ago.
Routh Bradds says Steve Tate, who is still financially invested in the dairy, will help with marketing efforts before gradually moving into a consultant role. There’s no doubt that the Tates, who live nearby, will continue to be a part of the Bradds’ lives.
“One thing I’ve always said about Steve and Ginnie, I say there’s family you were born into and family you get to choose. The Tates to the Routh Bradds family, they’re the family we got to choose and that’s what makes them special,” explains Routh Bradds. “We were really intertwined in each other’s lives for the past 20 years.”