Farms & CHEESEMAKERS
So - what exactly is “artisan” cheese? It’s * not * a fancy, high-priced product meant to appeal to food snobs. It is a product that’s made by hand, using traditional methods and clean, high-quality milk. It’s * not * a commodity product made in a factory with milk that’s highly processed and homogenized. It * is * influenced by changing seasons, weather, agricultural practices, animal care, and craftsmanship. Mass-produced cheeses are made with milk combined from many different sources that is mixed, homogenized, or balanced in some way. Artisan cheesemakers work with milk in its natural state, and either raise dairy herds themselves or have important relationships with the farmers who do. The products in our shop come from people who farm sustainably, prioritize animal welfare, and care deeply about their work.
Just as importantly, artisan cheese helps to sustain small family dairy farms that might not otherwise survive. Because of changes in fluid milk prices worldwide, value-added products like cheese can mean the difference between sustaining a farm business or watching it fail. When you buy cheese from a small-scale producer, you not only taste something delicious - you support local agriculture; you protect local ecosystems; you help farm families.
We’re proud to know many of our cheesemakers well and to call them friends. When we import cheese from other parts of the world, it’s because we know the people who make it or bring it to us, and we know we can trust them.
We’ve compiled a list of resources for consumers who are concerned about animal welfare and sustainability. View a printable copy here.