Jodie and Howie met at agricultural university in 2003, both sharing a passion for fab food, groovy tunes and the great outdoors.
With buoyant post-grad enthusiasm, the pair made plans to start their own business, but weren't quite sure what that might be. Then, whilst dancing away at V festival, Howie had a sudden craving for a fabulous, thick, fresh chocolate and banana milkshake. He closed his eyes visualised a rather funky cow, loads of fresh fruit, great chunks of chocolate and lashing of fresh milk. He called Jodie (a self-confessed milk addict) and told her about his idea. It wasn't long before the pair found themselves in Howie's mum's kitchen surrounded by 100s of ingredients and gallons of milk and ice cream. With the blender centre-stage they set to work, emerging hours later, full but smiling, with a long list of possible flavours and a company name, Shaken Udder.
So in 2004, Shaken udder milkshakes was born as a top-notch event based brand, bringing fresh, tasty and healthy milkshakes to festival goers across the country. The pair travelled far and wide to all the major music events (what a hardship) and served up 1000s of fresh creamy thick shakes. On tour, Shaken Udder's loyal fan base grew. Seeking them out at each event, people started asking where they could get there milkshake fix 365 days of the year.
In search of a place for their funky cow brand, Howie and Jodie took a long, hard look at the retail shelves and were thoroughly disappointed with what they found. Marvellous milk was being ruined with ingredients like modified maize starch, butter milk powders, e-numbers, artificial flavours and, what's more, they tasted like plastic fruit glue! So that was it, the pair decided to give milk what it deserved and create Britain’s best milkshake.
It was a while before the recipes were perfected, and there were massive hurdles to overcome: finding someone to make them for a start! But, after 18 months of searching, Jodie and Howie decided to build their own dairy (just like that) and by the summer of 2008 the funky cow was ready to hit the shelves.
A new breed of milkshakes was born, to the exclusive shelves of Harvey Nichols. But that was just the start and by 2009 Shaken Udder winged its way into the chiller cabinet of over 100 Waitrose stores. But things didn't stop there, success kept coming and by the start of 2010 Waitrose had increased its listing to all national stores, while Booths, Selfridges, Harrods, Whole Foods Market and Fortnum & Mason all vied for a piece of the action.
2011 was a really exciting year for Shaken Udder. Long-time business partners Jodie and Howie got married in April on the same day as Kate and Will's (they've been engaged for three years but had to spend their wedding fund on a new labelling machine!) Sainsbury's launched Shaken Udder Milkshakes into over 200 hundred stores in June. And if that wasn't enough excitement for one year Tesco launched the full Shaken Udder range into over 400 stores.
2012 was another busy year keeping up with the growth of the new business, they really focused on making the growth happen and providing a really great service to our current and new customers. they also had lots of fun contending with the very wet summer they had at festivals, which meant many an hour sat in the fields waiting to be towed out and a lot of elbow grease getting the units looking once again spotless for the next mud pit event.
2013 well they have some really exciting plans for this year, they have been working on new product ideas over the winter and will hopefully be unveiling them soon so watch this space.
But, of course, they can't do it without your support, so keep on buying Shaken Udder and, if it's not in a store near you, then ask your cheery shopkeeper to stock it! Also keep in touch. Jodie and Howie love to hear from their milkshake fans and love to get an email saying ' we love your milkshakes!' It really is things like that, that keep them going through the tough times.
Plus, if you've got any suggestions, or even a slap on the wrist, let the team know. It's what makes them strive for perfection to ensure they get it right next time!