With the backdrop of Biddulph Moor’s famous rocks and views across the picturesque Staffordshire Moorlands is one of the town’s newest and most innovative independent businesses: a fresh milk and milkshake vending machine.
Shakes on the Rocks, run by Jess, of Wickenstone Farm, is a self-service milkshake machine that opened on Good Friday, April 15. And it didn’t take long for people to hear about it! I spotted the new signage having taken a visit to Rudyard and after a quick Google I discovered it was their opening day, and headed straight up to find a crowd of people already queuing for their fresh milk in a variety of flavours.
The business opened at 11am, and by midday, there was already more than a dozen people queuing, and I’d spotted walkers with glass milk bottles on the roadside having already been. There’s plenty of parking, but I imagine in the coming weeks, it’ll get quite busy.
The Shake on the Rocks hut is fully covered, and features two vending machines that accept card payments only. The first offers reusable glass bottles with Shake on the Rocks branding, while the other dispensed the milk. There are also cups and straws available for those who want to enjoy their refreshing drink straight away, and a hot drinks dispenser for those who prefer a cuppa.
Once you’ve picked your container, you place it in the door in the second vending machine, select your flavour, size and ‘start’, then the machine does the rest of the work. Customers can choose from strawberry, chocolate, banana or the weeks’ special. For the Easter bank holiday weekend, the limited edition flavour was Creme Egg.
Between each shake, the machine self cleans ready for the next order, and can also dispense plain, fresh pasturised milk for just £1.40 a litre.
One litre of milkshake comes in at £2, while a cup of milk costs £1, or £1.50 for a shake. On my first visit, I picked up two glass bottles, and dispensed a litre of Creme Egg shake and a litre of strawberry, costing £8 in total. The reusable glass bottles cost £2 each, but can be reused time and time again so will pay for themselves eventaully.
The closest milkshake vending machines are Brereton and Barlaston, so Wickenstone Farm have hit a real sweet spot in the middle, and I think they’re going to serve the community, and beyond, brilliantly. I think it’s such a fantastic idea and it’s ideal for dog walkers, or people passing through Biddulph Moor to visit Rudyard, Rushton and Leek. It’s certainly going to be a regular haunt for me and my family, and I can’t wait to see what other limited edition flavours are put on the menu throughout summer.