Maartje Murphy owns Cows & Co Creamery, where she makes and sells gelato and artisan gouda cheese, two practices she learned in her home country of The Netherlands. Maartje and her husband Casey are members of Basin Electric Class C member Northern Plains Electric Cooperative and live near Carrington, North Dakota.
Maartje’s entrepreneurial spirit has her dreaming beyond the gelato and gouda she delivers over hundreds of miles each month. She was named to Forbes Magazine’s 30 under 30 list in December 2020.
Her parents and brothers run a dairy producing the high-quality milk Maartje uses in her products. The electric cooperative has also been a partner in Cows & Co Creamery’s success.
“It’s a huge benefit, having Northern Plains Electric in Carrington. If we need something, it’s a quick phone call. We have a few of their employees right in our speed dial; we know one another and it’s really good service,” says Casey.
Accountability to members is important to electric cooperatives, and it’s paid off for the Murphys. “Our cheese is temperature controlled, everything needs to be perfect,” says Maartje. “With gelato, that’s a frozen dessert so everything needs to be kept in freezers. So when they’re not running, our business isn’t running. Without power, we wouldn’t be able to run Cows & Co Creamery.”