Bradley Johnston is a third generation dairy farmer from the Avery’s Creek area of Buncombe County. He grew up working at his family’s dairy farm, Tap Root Dairy, which relocated to Mills River in 1975. Bradley knew from a young age that he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and work at the dairy, which is where he worked until Tap Root Dairy stopped producing milk in 2017. Bradley wanted to continue in the Dairy business and in August of 2014, he and his partner, Nancy Waycaster, opened Mills River Creamery at the corner of Hwy 280 and Hwy 191 in Mills River using milk from Tap Root Dairy. That August of 2014, they bottled their first cream line milk and began to offer it to the community through the Creamery. In 2016 he purchased an old dairy farm off of Hwy 191 in Mills River, and Mills River Dairy was born.
Bradley stocked his Dairy with Jersey Cows with bloodlines from the first Jerseys raised at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville. From there, Mills River Creamery began producing whole milk products and ice cream made exclusively with Jersey milk, which is higher in butter fat and contains the A2 beta-casein protein, which makes milk easier to digest.
Mills River Creamery and Dairy continues to thrive and we are looking forward to the future. We want to thank all of our customers and the community for your continued support. Without all of you, we would not be able to pursue our passion, which is providing the consumers the highest quality milk products we can. Thank you and come on by for the best cone of ice cream in Western North Carolina!