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Women Rock! Day - Woman Owned Food Companies

Women Rock! Day is celebrated on January 3 every year and is a day to specially honor the many brilliant women who contributed to the rock genre and caused giant waves in the world of music. However, I'm putting a twist on this special day and celebrating the women who rock the food industry and create giant waves in the culinary world!

The journey started back in 1904 when Great Grandfather Tobias Giacomini left Northern Italy to pursue his vision of farming the fertile lands of California. Fast forward four generations later, the farm has been reimagined by three of his great-granddaughters. The Giacomini family has created a flourishing cheese company that is a certified Women's Business Enterprise.

With over 55% of the workforce being women and leading by example, Point Reyes' focus is to create a work environment that supports women with work life balance, strong leadership, and opportunities for growth.

To read more about 'The Sisters Who Saved Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company', click here.

It all started in 1997 with a dream shared between 2 college friends and business partners, Sue Conley and Peggy Smith: To celebrate organic practices and spotlight the craftsmanship of local sustainable agriculture in Marin and Sonoma counties. Today, Cowgirl creamery has achieved just that and more. Organic. Farm-to-Table. Delicious, award-winning cheese.

Sue Conley and Peggy Smith also own and operate 2 creameries as well as 4 retail stores.

Click here to discover 'The Cowgirl Story'.

In 2007 Jean Mackenzie, founder of Mackenzie Creamery, took a cheesemaking class at Pennsylvania Association of Sustainable Agriculture. One class quickly turned into two, and two turned into a lifetime passion and successful business! Within 5 months after taking her first cheesemaking class, Jean became the second licensed goat cheese producer in Ohio.

Today, Mackenzie Creamery cheese is sold throughout the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic in grocery stores, specialty shops, and many restaurants.

Judy is mother - grandmother - teacher- cheesemaker - and owner/founder of Capriole Farm. Growing up in the summers on her grandparent's southern Indiana farm, Judy learned the joy of fresh, wonderful food, simple and lovingly prepared.

With her husband and 3 children she moved in 1976 to their family farm and within a few years had more goats milk than they could handle - Cheese was the result! Along with her friends Mary Keehn of Cypress Grove, Paula Lambert of Mozzarella Co., and Allison Hooper of Vermont Creamery, she was one of a group of women who helped each other create a community of American artisan cheese!

Mary Keehn, a self-proclaimed 'serious hippie' and single mother of four, was in search of healthy milk for her children and noticed a neighbor who had goats for brush control. She asked her neighbor if she could buy two of her goats and the neighbor replied "Honey, if you can catch 'em you can have 'em." So, eventually Mary lured her first two goats and those two turned into four and pretty soon Mary had plenty of goats. A lot of goats means a lot of milk. So... Mary tried her hand at the art of cheesemaking!

After officially opening Cypress Grove in 1983, Mary traveled to the cheese mecca of the world: France. She tasted and tested and learned from the masters and makers of brie, camembert and more!

Vermont Creamery was founded in 1984 by two young entrepreneurs, Allison Hooper and Bob Reese. Allison learned how to make cheese during an internship on a farm in France. Bob was working for the Vermont Department of Agriculture and charged with organizing a dinner featuring all Vermont-made products.

When a French chef requested fresh goat cheese, Bob had to find a local producer. He asked Allison, who was working in a dairy lab and milking goats to make the cheese. The dinner was a success, and the cheese was a hit; Vermont Creamery was born that night!

To learn more about Vermont Creamery's journey click here.


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