Creamery Q&A - Sweet Grass Dairy
Q & A with Mallory Sofferin of Sweet Grass Dairy, based in Thomasville, Georgia. Sweet Grass Dairy specializes in handcrafting delicious, high-quality artisan cheese from the milk of healthy, barn-free cows.
Q. Tell us a quick history of your company.
A. Sweet Grass Dairy is a second generation, family-owned creamery based in Thomasville, Georgia. We produce handmade artisan cheese from cow’s milk. Our cows are raised barn free, grazing on fresh grass year-round. Co-owner Jessica Little grew up helping her parents manage the 350-acre dairy farm that continues to provide our milk today. Together, Jessica and her husband Jeremy have stayed loyal to the values our creamery was founded on 20 years ago: take exceptional care of the grass and the cows, and then produce cheese that lets the flavors and quality of the milk shine through.
Q. How did you get into cheesemaking?
A. Jessica's Mother, Desiree Wehner, is the Founder of Sweet Grass Dairy. She wanted to highlight how incredible her milk was from cows that had been grazing on grass 365 days a year. After 5 years of having Sweet Grass Dairy, she recruited her daughter, Jessica, and her husband, Jeremy, to come back to the Farm to help with the business.
Q. Describe the process of creating a new cheese type at your creamery, from idea to conception.
A. New Products have always been our Co-Owners brain child, but as we grow we typically try to find a hole in the marketplace in which we think we can fill. After our New Product Development Team agrees to move forward with the idea, we meet regularly to discuss timelines, action plans, product testing, and market testing.
Q. How important is the local terroir in your cheesemaking process?
A. It's incredibly important. It helps make Sweet Grass Dairy so unique.
Q. Is your facility open to the public? If so, what can guests expect when visiting?
A. Unfortunately, we are only open to people within our industry and media.
Q. What is your favorite cheese that you produce? Describe its aroma, flavor, texture and appearance.
A. My favorite cheese that we produce has to be our Thomasville Tomme. It's subtle, but extremely complex with aroma's of earthy grass and mushrooms. The texture is semi-firm and elastic, leading way to a perfect cheese for melting. Thomasville Tomme is a cheese for those new to artisan cheeses, but also interesting enough for those who have been in the industry for years.
Q. What beverages and accompaniments pair best with the cheese mentioned in the previous question?
A. I love pairing Thomasville Tomme with a Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, olives, and blueberry jam.
Q. What inspires your flavor choices and packaging designs?
A. We're always striving to find new flavor choices and ingredients for our cheeses. I like to think that travel inspires both our flavor choices and packaging designs.
Q. Where can consumers purchase your cheese?
A. On our website, Kroger, Murray's, Publix, Whole Foods, Harris Teeter, Fresh Market, Sprouts, etc.
*Images courtesy of Sweet Grass Dairy.