North Carolina Artisan Cheese
North Carolina Artisan Cheese • Discover hand-crafted North Carolina Artisan Cheeses. Made from the milk of goats, cows and sheep raised sustainably on small family farms, these cheeses are prized by some of the region’s finest restaurants, as well as discerning individuals. Looking Glass Creamery of Fairview, North Carolina was recently featured in the Williams-Sonoma Catalog.
"America is enjoying a revival of the time-honored craft of artisan cheesemaking. Over the past several years, American artisan cheese has claimed its place in cheese cases at co-ops, upscale and specialty stores and at farmers’ markets. Around the country, artisan cheesemakers are emerging with cheeses that rival, and even top, European classics. Small scale or tiny, farmers’ market-focused or regional, artisan cheesemakers are a growing presence in the cheese world." ~ The Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota
"Cheese-making has been on the rise in North Carolina, which boasts 40 cheese-making operations inspected by state officials, according to Matt Lange, executive director of N.C. Dairy Advantage, a nonprofit created by the state’s dairy producers to support their industry. Of that number about 30-35 are what Lange describes as artisanal cheese-makers — producers who own goats or cows and process milk and cheese on a farm, or operations that source local milk to make cheese. The state also ranks near the top in the number of dairy goats. In fact, the American Dairy Goat Association is headquartered in North Carolina." ~ Jason Sandford, Asheville Citizen-Times
North Carolina Cheesemakers
Looking Glass Creamery • FaceBook • Profile
Looking Glass Creamery is the home of fine handcrafted, small batch, artisanal cheeses. We are a small, family owned and operated creamery located in the mountains of Western North Carolina.
We start with fresh raw milk that we buy weekly from several local farms and process it in small batches to make a limited variety of goat and cow milk cheeses. We strive to produce an excellent product made with no artificial preservatives, stabilizers, or additives and free of added growth hormones or other unnatural ingredients. Our cheeses contain only milk, cultures, seasalt, and rennet along with the occasional herbs and spices from the best sources.
Our viewing room is open daily and lets people watch the cheesemaking process at no charge. You can sample and purchase the products we make in our retail shop across the street from the factory.
Dave started building the dairy in 2003, converting a tobacco packing house into a cheese kitchen and milking room. Now, in addition to our cheeses and gourmet monthly dinners from the area’s best chefs, Elodie Farms offers guests a pristine, natural and relaxing setting for agritourism events including weddings, parties, team-building exercises, summer day camps, and educational field trips.
We sell at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market and the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market. Cornucopia Cheese and Specialty Foods distributes our products to restaurants and stores throughout NC.
Seligman E.G.G. Farm, Inc.: Seligman Eggs, Goats, and Garden Farm is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains on a 28 acre strip of land surrounded by streams on all sides. Our farmstead is nestled just below Round Mountain, about 25 miles south of Ashville, North Carolina. Our pampered Alpine, LaMancha and Nubian goat herd provide an excellent quality goat milk for our Farmstead Grade A vat pasteurized Goat Milk and Goat Cheeses.
Its taste is inextricably tied to its place of origin – our particular herd of Alpine and Saanen goats, their forage unique to our farm’s pasture and woods, the Piedmont’s gentle seasons, and our evolving skill in transforming the continuously changing milk into a delicate fresh chèvre. Simply put, Celebrity Dairy chèvre is an honest expression of ourselves, and our farm, and our place in time – our "terroir".
Prodigal Farm • FaceBook • Profile
We create handcrafted farmstead cheeses, breads, produce and farm-crafted specialty items on our 97-acre farm in rural Rougemont, North Carolina. Our family farm is centered around our pastured Animal Welfare Approved goat herd.
Though our farm is centered around our goats and the cheeses we craft from their milk, we craft other exceptionally fresh items for your table, including deliciously, decadent chevre-cakes and breads made with whey from our goats’ milk.
Bosky Acres soft unripened goat cheese ( also known as Chevre) starts with fresh wholesome goat milk from dairy goats. The goat milk is the best that can be produced. We employ sustainable practices, giving the goats plenty of fresh air, exercise, pasture and browse, and whole grain feed and hay. The farm is licensed, regularly inspected, and tested for clean healthy milk. We know that only a high quality milk can make a great tasting cheese.
By definition, Artisan Cheese is manufactured by hand using the traditional craftsmanship of skilled cheese makers. This is the way we treat our cheese at Calico Farmstead, giving each batch special attention to get the best final product. In our workroom we make the cheese in small batches, this gives us cheese that is more complex in taste and variety. Some are ripened and some are fresh with mild flavors. Our artisan cheeses are also known as farmstead cheeses, made with milk from our own herd of cows.
Carol and Lon Coulter purchased the old Florence Kelly home place in 1994, which had been a working cow dairy until the early 70s. To help clear the briars and brambles that had taken over the farm, the Coulters purchased goats. One thing led to another and soon enough Carol was milking goats and taking cheese classes. For the last 6 years the Coulters have worked toward becoming a licensed dairy and in January of 2009 Heritage Homestead was licensed. The Coulters raise Saanens, Alpines and a few Nubians. Their wonderful sweet milk is made into farmstead cheese sold at local farmers’ markets and select retail shops. The goats are milked for 8 months out of the year and bred and kid in mid March-April and the cycle begins again.
Holly Grove Farm • FaceBook • Profile
Holly Grove Farms mission is to provide a low cost, high quality fresh product. We offer 8 oz. tubs of Fresh Chevre, Southwestern Blend, Basil, Chives, Summertyme Blue, and Jalapeno. We also offer 2 lbs. and 4 lbs. tubs of Fresh Chevre.
Our All Natural Goat Cheese is produced on the farm, creating about 500 pounds daily. The Fresh Chevre All Natural Goat Cheese is similar to the texture of cream cheese, but on the healthier side. We have available different favored cheeses: Southwestern Blend, Fresh Chevre, Basil, Chives, Summertyme Blue & Jalapeno.
2011 NC State Fair Cheese Competition: The Creamery’s Calavander asiago cheese won Best of North Carolina and Best of Show, in addition to winning a gold medal for best hard cheese. Chapel Hill Creamery also won gold medals in the Swiss Styles, Mozzarella, Flavored Soft Cheese and Semi-Soft Cheese categories. Chapel Hill Creamery cheese may be found at the Carrboro and Durham Farmer’s Markets, as well as many retail locations and restaurants throughout North Carolina.
OakMoon Creamery • FaceBook • Profile
OakMoon Creamery is located in the charming hamlet of Bakersville, gateway to magnificent Roan Mountain. We have raised dairy goats since 1983, and previously used the name Fairlight for the herd.
Since 1998, we have been known as OakMoon Farm, and raise American and French alpines, oberhasli, and saanen goats. The creamery was licensed in 2007 with some products available year-round. The creamery is open seven days per week, with cheese available for sale on the honor system. We offer basic cheesemaking and goat husbandry workshops in spring and fall. Typical workshop topics include how to make simple chevre, feta, mozzarella, pressed farmer cheese, fencing and housing dairy goats, kidding and feeding.
Our herd of mostly Oberhasli goats numbers around 50, with several retirees replaced by young, fresh producers yearly. Licensed as a Farmstead Cheese Maker in 2004, SleepyGoat Cheese has a wide range of products, fresh and aged, pasteurized and raw
Our elevation is high, our air and water are pure and our goats reflect this in their vitality and production. And because of this, our cheese encompasses the essence of our mountain environment.
Hillsborough Cheese Company • FaceBook • Profile
Hidden in the heart of historically dairy-rich Orange County, NC (on a previous tobacco farm where Cindy West grew up) our small, boutique creamery focuses on the art of cheese-making.
Our French-trained chef & cheese-maker, Cindy, handcrafts small batches of many varieties of quality fresh & aged cheeses using goat’s and cow’s milk. Focusing mostly on traditional European-style cheeses, Cindy and our staff also experiment with and create some of their own unique cheese blends tailored to our local community’s tastes. We believe in simple, no-nonsense cheese that is delicious and accessible.
Dee Dee Lee Cheese is located in Candler, North Carolina, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. We make hand-pulled artisanal cheeses. Our selections include Ovoline Mozzarella balls, as well as, bocconcini, bite-sized marinated knots, and burrata, mozzarella filled with cream soaked mozzarella shreds and, new to our catalog, fresh farmstead goat’s milk ricotta. As of 2011, Dee Dee Lee added an all natural farmstead creamery. We introduced artisanal hand-made Basque-style goat milk cheeses in addition to our fresh and aged cows milk Italian styles.
Located about 10 miles north of Statesville, NC, we have a small herd of Jersey cows and use the raw milk to make an aged farmstead cheese. No chemicals or pesticides on pastures and the cheese is made using all natural techniques with no additives, preservatives, or artificial food coloring and aged for at least 60 days in our walk-in cooler on site.
Ripshin Goat Dairy • Profile
Ripshin Goat Dairy is located in historic Happy Valley on the Yadkin River between Lenoir and Blowing Rock, NC. Here in this beautiful river valley, we raise American Saanen dairy goats on natural pasture, woods and forages, using sound ecological practices.
This farm has been in our family for six generations. Our farmstead cheeses are hand-made on our farm in small batches, using only milk from our herd. Licensed in May 2006 as cheesemakers, we currently produce fresh chevre daily from April through November. The chevre is available both plain and herbed, with herbs grown organically in our own gardens. We also produce aged goat milk camembert and feta on a limited basis, as well as farmer’s cheese and herbed chevre logs.
She was recognized by the James Beard Foundation in her third year, 2007, as part of Taste America in Charlotte. She continues to expand her farmer’s market presence by adding three new locations in 2009: Yadkinville, Conover, and the Dixie Classic Fairgrounds in Winston-Salem (a year-round farmer’s market).
Dark Cove Goat Cheese • Profile
Dark Cove Goat Cheese is made from pasteurized goat milk, cheese cultures, microbial rennet, salt and, in some varieties, fresh garlic and chives. Our smooth cheese, is great to spread. Both our varieties are available in one pound containers. Fresh goat cheese freezes beautifully and has a refrigerated shelf-life of about three weeks.
Goat cheese has superior nutritional value and can substitute in most recipes for cream cheese. Our customers boast excellent success using Dark Cove Goat Cheese as an hors d’oeuvre with crackers, in pasta sauces, and salad dressings as well as in desserts such as cheese cakes, fudge, and even truffles
Yellow Branch is the name of the small creek that flows down the valley and empties into Fontana Lake. We moved to the farm with the intention of producing food for our table and acquired a jersey milk cow named Rosebud. Learning to make cheese soon followed.
La Casa dei Formaggi • Profile
La Casa dei Formaggi means "the house of the cheeses", where artisanal cheeses are crafted from raw cow’s milk. By blending the cheese-making styles of Piemonte in Northern Italy with the fresh high quality milk of Piedmont in North Carolina, these cheeses offer a unique mix of tradition and local taste.
Using raw milk ensures that the quality and flavor of the milk pass intact from the pasture to the cheeses. The milk used travels under 25 miles starting from Chapel Hill Creamery, where Jersey cows enjoy a pasture-based diet (no hormones or pesticides). The cheeses made at La Casa dei Formaggi combine milk, cultures, rennet and salt and are then aged from 2 to 12 months.
We take great pride in producing quality cheese and pork that is free of any hormones or antibiotics. The health and quality of our animals takes priority and thus we are able to make many wonderfully healthy cheeses.
Nature’s Way Farm & Seafood • Profile
Natures Ways Farm & Seafood started as a clean pure life style. With hard work, love for our land, animals, and ocean it has grown into a wholesome local hot spot for top of the line food. We have won numerous awards for our hand made Goat Cheeses and other products made on site a small 3 Acre farm near the coast of North Carolina.
For decades Hampstead has been the site of old school hard work. Our goats receive the finest feed and nutrients to provide a Rich Clean Creamy Milk perfect for making Fine Cheese. Our goats are unstressed happy animals well cared for in a clean open barn with toys and roaming room. The are treated like pets and respond much like dogs to they master. Line up girls! Twice a day they are hand and machine milked by there owners, this reduces stress and decreases hormone release which makes a very good quality milk. When you start with a good base milk and fresh ingredients hand crafted award winning cheese just happens.
Pat was born in Rome, New York and, after traveling extensively throughout Europe, moved to North Carolina where she is employed with the Carl Sandburg Home NHS as a ranger/park guide. She has studied goat herd health management and farmstead cheese production at the University of Georgia and the University of Tennessee in order to acquire knowledge to provide revenues from her already existing dairy goat operation
Three Graces Dairy • Profile
Our goat herd is made up of three breeds – the lovely white Swiss Saanens who produce volumes of milk, the Nubians, those charming long-eared beauties, full of personality and opinions whose milk has great cheese components and the intelligent Nigerian Dwarfs, everyone’s favorite cuties who provide the richest milk of any breed.
Our cows are Guernseys – one of the smallest and most docile of the dairy breeds known for their extra rich and distinctly yellow colored milk. Our sheep are East Friesians – the highest milk producers of the dairy breeds. This unusual blend of "workers" provide us with the exquisite milk that makes our French-style cheeses.
Black River Farmstead • Profile
Black River Farmstead cheese, also called chèvre (French word for "goat"), is offered in three flavors–dill and garlic, herbes de provence, and plain. Our spreadable chèvre contrasts nicely with our feta, which is intentionally dry and crumbles easily. Our cheeses can be successfully used in appetizers or wraps and with vegetables and main dishes, from country foods to ethnic dishes.
Our Alpine dairy goats are gently and lovingly cared for in North Carolina. We currently have 15 does (females) and 2 bucks (males) on the farmstead; and they are descendants of state and national, prize-winning blood lines. Beginning at birth, our kids are bottle-fed mothers’ milk for three months. Afterwards, they continue to be fed only the best products to produce their high quality milk for our cheese and soap. My sister and her husband, Anita and Howard, used to live in Hawaii and loved it there; so we have named our goats in honor of their love of Hawaii. The does that helped us get started are Maili, Pua, Pele, Noi, and Lani; and Shane was our first buck.
More Information on Artisan Cheese
Atlas of American Artisan Cheese • Jeffrey Roberts • The Atlas of American Artisan Cheese by Jeffrey Roberts is an essential and engaging reference guide covering the very best in American artisan cheesemaking.
The Atlas of American Artisan Cheese is the first reference book of its kind and a must-have for even the most casual foodie library. Jeffrey P. Roberts lavishes loving attention on the growing local food and farmstead movement in what is fast becoming a national trend. This fully illustrated encyclopedia of contemporary artisan cheeses and cheesemakers will not only be a mainstay in any cookery and cuisine library—guiding consumers, retailers, restaurateurs, and food professionals to the full breadth and unparalleled quality of American artisan foods—it will be the source of many a fabulous food adventure. Organized by region and state, the Atlas highlights more than 350 of the best small-scale cheeses produced from cow, sheep, and goat milk in the United States today. It provides the most complete overview of what’s to be had nationwide—shippable, attainable, delectable. Each entry describes a cheesemaker, its products, availability, location, and even details on the cheesemaking processes. The Atlas of American Artisan Cheese captures America’s local genius for artisan cheese: its capacity for adaptation, experimentation, and innovation, while following old-world artisanship. It is destined to become a classic resource and reference.
• The American Artisanal Cheese Movement
The modern artisanal cheese movement in the United States began its slow climb to popularity in the late ’70s and early ’80s. At that time, the cheese industry was dominated by large corporations producing factory-made cheeses.
• The American Cheese Society
Founded in 1983, the organization provides networking and educational opportunities for American cheesemakers. Members also include retailers, individuals in the food industry, small businesses and corporate sponsors. According to the American Cheese Society, membership "is available to anyone involved in the trade or simply passionate about American-made specialty and artisanal cheeses."