Currently, Goat Milk Stuff is located on 3 acres in Charlestown, Indiana. We do it all here - raise & homeschool our 8 children, breed & milk dairy goats, and make & sell goat milk soap.
When we purchased this home, we did not know that we were going to have a thriving business here. We've rearranged and reorganized multiple times, but we're just about out of room to work. Our workspace is a bunch of additions that don't flow together very well. While we could reconfigure and add-on again, one of our biggest difficulties here is our lack of high-speed internet. We have satellite internet that not only can be slow, but it can go out all together when it storms.
Because of these and other factors, we made the decision in 2010 to start looking for a new location for GMS and the Jonas Family. We had many criteria that we wanted met. For months we looked around Indiana and couldn't find anything. We considered moving back to Virginia (where Jim and PJ met), but couldn't find anything in the location we wanted that we could afford and that met our needs.
In January, 2011, we decided to give Indiana another look and came across a 31-acre property in Scottsburg, Indiana, about 20 minutes from our current home. We were told this property was zoned agriculture, so we went to check it out. It met every single one of our criteria (but one) and was in our price range.
While we were putting in an offer, we discovered the property was not zoned Agriculture - but residential. Thus began the process of getting the property rezoned. In June of 2011 we got our zoning change approved.
The property has 10-12 open, level acres at the front. There are approximately twenty wooden acres that drop significantly downward to a stream and then backs up to Interstate-65. The front third of the property is suitable for building, and the back two-thirds are perfect for goats.
We will be building a large soap production building, a goat barn, a milk room, and our home on this property. This is a large scale project that we are looking forward to completing.
The new buildings will give us much-needed space for our growing business. More curing space means higher rates of production for soap. More warehouse space means we can have a few more fragrance options on hand. Other new spaces will be used for more new product development so we can finally work on the body wash, bubble bath, and other stuff that people keep begging us for. Also, having more parking area, and being right off the Interstate here in the "Crossroads of America," means more people can visit us as well as pick up their orders to save shipping costs. The added bonus for us is that the accessibility (both internet and large truck) of the new property will save us hours of time each week.
While we'll miss our home here in Charlestown and all of our wonderful neighbors, we're very excited to start over in Scottsburg. The children are especially excited about all the climbing trees (suitable for tree houses) and the creek that are on the new property. The goats are going to be thrilled with all the woods. PJ can't wait to have high speed internet. And Jim - well, he's still stuck on all the work that needs to be done. :)