Celebrate National Cheese Lovers’ Day by Supporting Small Cheese Businesses!
We love all cheese here at Curd is the Word, from big companies and small. But, you get so much more than a delicious cheese when supporting small, local cheesemakers.
Cheeses made in small dairies tend to have much more flavor and influence from the local terroir. More care and technique is put into the conceptualization and production. Small, artisan cheesemakers also tend to use super fresh milk that they either collect on-site, or from farms within a close radius of the dairy. This doesn't only result in a fresher cheese, but reduced carbon emissions. Most importantly, when you buy cheese from a small business, you're supporting hardworking farmers, cheesemakers and the local community!
To find the best, artisan cheese near you, do some research! Use Google or your preferred search engine to located local cheese shops and dairies. It is easy to pull up a list by searching "cheese dairies near me". You won't regret stopping in--you'll make connections with local, inspiring entrepreneurs and walk away with some of the best cheese you'll ever taste! They may even let you meet the herd 😊
If you live in a big city or are unable to locate small cheese dairies near you, don't fret. Below are some of our favorite small cheese businesses that sell their products online or at stores.
Consider Bardwell Farm - Pawlet, Vermont
The Consider Bardwell Farm website states, "Located in Pawlet, Vermont, and spanning the rolling hills of Vermont's Champlain Valley and reaching into Washington County, New York, our three-hundred acre farm was established in 1864 by a man named Consider Stebbins Bardwell. It was Vermont's first dairy coop, ("The Pawlet Cheese Company") where small farmers in the area brought their milk. Consider made the cheese and they sold it as far as New York City.
A century and a half later, Angela Miller and Russell Glover are revitalizing the tradition with pasture-based raw milk from cows with the support of their neighbor farm partner, Indian River Farm."
We love Dorset Hidden Star, a soft and elastic cheese with a cider-washed rind. This delicious cheese pays homage to beloved artisan cheese supporter Anne Saxelby. You can purchase this and the rest of Consider Barwell's cheeses on their online shop.
5 Spoke Creamery - Goshen, NY
"Great cheese starts with great milk!" 5 Spoke Creamery's farmstead cheeses are handmade using raw milk from their closed herd of grass-fed Jersey cows. This milk is so great because, per 5 Spoke's website, "grass-fed cows get to roam, picking and choosing from a variety of grasses, herbs, flowers and weeds. Raw milk from a grass-fed cow has a depth of flavor or terroir that cannot be duplicated...5 Spoke Creamery cheeses’ superior taste and smooth, creamy texture reflect the climate, vegetation, soil and farm conditions along with [the] small-batch production techniques."
After spending a long career as a food chemist in dairy development, Alan Glustoff and his wife Barbara decided to take the plunge into the world of farmstead cheese. They searched for a long time to find the right space and eventually came upon the old farm in the heart of New York State’s Black Dirt region. The Glustoffs live just 50 feet from the cheesemaking site.
5 Spoke is currently updating their online ordering platform, but in the meantime, you can place an order by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Milton Creamery - Milton, IA
Milton Creamery is the result of a dream. Since the opening of their farmstead family business in 2006, the Musser family continues to make their dream of doing something to help others in the agriculture world and beyond a reality everyday. They do this through exceptional cheesemaking, which adds value to the milk for dairy farmers and creates jobs in the local community while bringing people everywhere, delicious, responsibly-made products created with art and passion from Southeast Iowa.
Husband and wife co-founders, Rufus and Jane Musser, with their three sons, Junior, Galen, and Mark dedicate their lives to dairy farming. The Mussers get all of their milk from cows on nearby, small Amish dairy farms. Herds are managed and milked by the immediate family, and all of the herds contain fewer than 65 cows. The farmers that provide milk to Milton Creamery don't give their cows artificial growth hormones, like rBGH and rBST, and the cows are grazed throughout much of the year. In the winter, the farmers continue to provide the cows with quality feed. This classic approach to dairy farming creates simply delicious milk used at Milton Creamery.
Prairie Breeze, a twist on a well-aged white Cheddar style cheese, is a must-try! To place an order with Milton Creamery, call their store at 641-656-4094.
Capriole Goat Cheese - Greenville, IN
Capriole Goat Cheese was started in the 1980s by husband and wife duo Larry and Judy Schad. July stated on the Capriole website, "In the mid ‘80s, with over 50 animals and swimming in goat milk, I was canning, preserving, and making goat cheese in the farm kitchen for family and friends. By early 1988, we decided to take the next plunge, built a commercial dairy, and hauled our 70 gallons of milk twice a week to nearby Huber Orchard and Winery to try out our home cheesemaking skills in small, show-and-tell facility. The journey into commercial cheesemaking had begun. By 1990, we had outgrown the Huber space, expanded the herd, and built a small creamery on the farm. 30 years later, we're still here, still limited by space and geography, and still ladling 400 gallon vats of cheese curd by hand."
Today, Capriole purchases their super fresh goat milk from local Amish farmers. These farmers' holistic approach to farming and raising goats, as well as Capriole cheesemakers' great skill and passion, creates goat cheese of the highest quality and flavor.
Escape the winter blues with Capriole Julianna! It's full of unique flavors that develop under a natural rind of thyme, lavender, rosemary, and wildflowers that become a truly integral, but balanced, flavor component of the cheese. This cheese reminds of warm sunshine and fresh spring air, as it wraps you into this blissful moment of bright and colorful tastes!
To get your hands on Julianna and Capriole's other delicious, handmade goat's cheeses, use their store locator.