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Elizabeth Bounds, Founder, Other Milk Co.

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Other Milk Co.

How Elizabeth Bounds is Changing the Alternative Milk Industry for the Chattanooga Community

For years, one of the greatest debates in the South has been the pronunciation of the word "pecan." Is it "pea-can" or "puh-kahn"? Native Mississippian, Elizabeth Bounds, has long pronounced it "puh-kahn", but since starting her business, she has heard it said many different ways when asked: "Why pecans?"

Pecans are a versatile nut for baked goods, salads and even savory dishes, but what Bounds does with her pecans is quite unique. She turns them into milk. In the plant-based milk market, pecans are the least, however, Bounds reasoning is simple: locality. Bounds notes, “I mean it’s like a 32-billion-dollar industry, right? So, you could ask why would you get into that? And I think that there is a space for people doing it on a local level. I live in Chattanooga, so it made sense. Why not source as locally as possible? Georgia is the largest producer of pecans.”

Like over half of the world’s population, Bounds was born lactose intolerant. And like so many growing up in the 90s, she had to rely on soy-based dairy alternatives. Only recently has the plant-based milk market expanded substantially, something Bounds is grateful for as are many others. “I was vegan for two years and as I was on a health journey, I was noticing how much plant-based milk I was consuming and the waste it created with the wax cartons are not recyclable in our area as well as the gums and fillers to help stabilize it and thicken it. And I thought you know I don’t really want that going in my body. I feel like there’s gotta be other people who feel this way.”

That's when Other Milk began. Other Milk offers the Chattanooga community a local, sustainable and delicious commodity. Taking inspiration from the past, Other Milk is packaged in glass bottles and delivered to customers' doorsteps: a family tradition she unconsciously began to follow. Recently, Bounds found out that her own great-grandfather was a milkman. “I feel like I have a kindred milk delivery experience or spirit in our family,” she gleefully explains. 

Aesthetically, glass bottles seemed like the right and responsible choice for Bounds. "We are responsible for what goes out into this world.  I didn’t see it going any other way than the glass. Plus, it looks nice, it feels nice, it pours well. There is something really special about it,” she explains.

As for settling the pronunciation debate? Well, Bounds might compromise. Although she has always said "puh-kahns", after hearing so many Georgian counterparts pronounce it "pea-cans", she laughs and says, “I might adopt that. It's really cute.”

Learn more about Elizabeth and Other Milk Company on Instagram at @drinkother.

  • Elizabeth Bounds, Founder, Other Milk Co.