Milkman comes out of retirement due to coronavirus-related demand in NY

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB/CNN) - A retired milkman in upstate New York is making his rounds again, as demand for delivery services has shot up because of stay-at-home orders during the coronavirus outbreak.

Milkman Bradley Hellert, owner of Hillside Dairy, retired in 2018, but lately, his phone has been ringing off the hook. The onset of COVID-19 spiked demand for home-delivered milk and groceries because families don’t want to leave their homes and risk exposure to the virus.

"Mainly, people are desperate for the service. I've had calls from people from all around the country – California, Connecticut – looking for help for their shut-in parents,” Hellert said. “They had ordered from other online services, and the orders were canceled, and they couldn't get any food for them. It's people almost pleading for someone to try to help them."

So, Hellert decided to start up the business again, this time with the help of his grandson, Chris.

“He’s doing the running a little bit and helping navigate because we don’t know where we’re going. We're relying on GPS to find everybody. Without his help, of course, it'd be a lot harder on me," Hellert said.

On their first day back in action, the two made about 35 deliveries across western New York.

“We’re getting our feet back on the ground again, so, all will be well, we hope,” Hellert said.

The Hillside Dairy website says the delivery service has reached its current customer capacity, and it is working to expand in an effort to serve more people.

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