A  coffee drinker who was unable to get oat milk at Bolton station has been surprised with some free portable cartons of the milk alternative.

Oatly, the original manufacturer of oat milk, has gifted hundreds of single-serve oat milk cartons to Paul Whitley, who was refused oat milk in his coffee at Bolton Station last week.

Originally from Hindley, the 39-year-old – who now lives in Sheffield – decided to stop off at Bolton station’s WHSmith for his coffee fix but was left disappointed after he was told none was available.

The Bolton News also attempted to order oat milk at the outlet, but was told neither soy nor oat were available.

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Now Oatly, whose founder invented oat drink more than 30 years ago, has gifted Paul with hundreds of ‘Oatly Barista Edition’ cartons, so that he can enjoy them in his coffee no matter where he is.

Paul, who was travelling through Bolton station last week after attending a funeral, tweeted: "I'm in Bolton train station and I asked for oat milk in my coffee and the lady told me 'they don't do that kind of thing here'." 

The Tweet went viral – with more than three million views and tens of thousands of likes on the social media platform.

After being reported by The Bolton News, the story was picked up by outlets including the Mirror and Mail, and was even discussed on Jeremy Vine’s Radio 2 programme, sparking a debate.

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The 20ml versions of the oat milk cartons, sent to Paul, are pyramid-shaped and designed to hold one serving.

Paul commented: “I tried to get oat milk coffee in Bolton and accidentally became a minor celebrity.

“Now I’ll always be carrying Oatly Jiggers with me so I can stop (alt)-milking the attention”  

He said: "When I posted about coffee options in Bolton, I didn’t expect to accidentally spark a debate on cow milk vs oat ‘juice’, have the story hit the national press.

"Oatly have now sent me some freebies so i can’t stop alt-milking the attention’."

Bryan Carroll, Oatly general manager’s in the UK & Ireland, said: “When it comes to milk, our mission is to make it normal for people to have choices beyond just the one that was designed for baby cows.

“We love hearing people challenging the default to dairy - whether it’s on a train, on a plane, in a cafe or supermarket.

“There are tonnes of oat drinkers in Bolton and across the UK but, as Paul has shown us, there’s still work to be done!”

If you have a story, I cover the whole borough of Bolton. Please get in touch at jack.fifield@newsquest.co.uk