Haines store has milk run after ordering error

surplus milk in Haines
Surplus crates of milk from an accidental eight-pallet order in cold storage at Olerud’s Market Center in Haines. (Courtesy Olerud’s)

A Haines grocery store has more milk than it knows what to do with, after an ordering error led to the store receiving many times its usual supply of milk.

Sarah Swinton, who owns Olerud’s Market Center on Main Street, says she made a glitch this week in her milk order. 

“When I ordered from Darigold, it was in the individual units, so I proceeded to order that way,” Swinton said. “But (food supplier) UNFI wanted it in the cases. So, long story short, normally I get in a pallet of milk, and I got eight pallets of milk.”

That comes out to over 700 gallons of milk — more than 10,000 8-ounce containers’ worth. 

Swinton says the supplier will not help her in dealing with the error.

“They were apologetic, but apologetic doesn’t pay for my freight of my cost of goods,” she said.

She now has to sell the milk as fast as she can, at a loss.

“I don’t think I want to freeze milk in my store and then try to sell it to my customers after the expiration date, so I’m trying my best to move what I can out of the store,” she said.

Swinton says she thought of making milkshakes but doesn’t have enough staff. She says now would be a good time for customers to try making pudding.

“Just stop on by Olerud’s and please grab a gallon of milk — it’s a pretty good markdown,” Swinton said.

On Friday the milk was discounted to $6.89 a gallon, down from its usual $8.79 as Swinton tried to cover the pallets’ shipping costs.

The milk’s expiration date is March 27.

Previous articleAnchorage man wins 2023 Iditarod Trail Invitational
Next articleAs coastal erosion pulls rural Alaska communities into the sea, new research seeks solutions