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Battle of the Brands: Shatto Milk Is One of the Fightin’ Four

Posted by Sarah Mote on Mar 27, 2012

After an epic fight among the final eight, Shatto Milk triumps over Spin Pizza to be among the Fightin’ Four in KCSourceLink’s Battle of the Brands. Shatto will face off against fresh-scent maven Indigo Wild. Voting starts at 12 noon on March 27, 2012.

Below, Matt Shatto shares the Shatto story and love of entrepreneurship.

What makes Kansas City a great place to start and grow a business?

The wonderful people. 

We have found that Kansas City is a place made up of passionate people that are interested in local businesses and willing to support them.  This is in the form of purchasing products, lending a helping hand, offering free advice and supporting those businesses as they grow within the community. 

Kansas City is an amazing place to start a new business!

How did the Shatto Milk adventure in entrepreneurship begin?

It all started in the late 1800s, three generations ago, when Minnie Porter married George Winstead. Once married, the two bought and began farming the land that now hosts our family's latest endeavor, Shatto Milk Company. After a few years on the farm the two had six children: Frank, William, Jack, Anna Lucille, Mary Alice and then 20 years later, Georgia Francis as a pleasant surprise.

Mary Alice and Jack remained on the farm, and Georgia, the youngest, married Ivan Cox. In time, the union of Georgia and Ivan brought the two back to the farm where Ivan created a partnership with Georgia's sister, Mary Alice. The two began a dairy and worked closely for years until Mary Alice retired, leaving the management of the farm to Ivan. In the late 1940s, Georgia and Ivan began their family and had three children of their own: Esther, Dinah and Barbara.

In 1972, Barbara married Leroy Shatto, who within 2 years of marriage partnered with Barbara's father, Ivan, and began to work on the family farm as well. In the mid-1980s, Ivan decided to retire, leaving the management of the farm to Leroy. The farm sustained itself into the early 1990s; however Leroy began to see many other local dairy farmers go out of business due to the low milk prices that were being paid by the dairy cooperatives for bulk milk.

In the mid-1990s, the farm could no longer sustain itself and the Shatto's began to talk about the future of the family farm and a new way of life. Barb and Leroy refused to give up on the farm and knew a solution could be found. In 2001, Leroy and Barbara began to investigate the idea of bottling the milk from their small herd of cows on their family farm. The two had the thought of providing people in the Kansas City and St. Joseph areas with the freshest and best tasting milk on the market; milk straight from their local family farm.

In 2003, the couple’s dream of saving the family farm came true. On June 4, 2003, Shatto Milk Company was born, as the first delivery of farm fresh milk in glass bottles went to just under 10 retail stores in the Kansas City area. Since the day Minnie and George Winstead purchased this farm in the late 1800s, it has truly been a family farm.


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