or over a decade, furthering the fine art of farmstead cheesemaking...
In 1997, Sue Conley and Peggy Smith opened Cowgirl Creamery in Pt. Reyes Station, a picturesque postage-stamp-of-a-town on the coast about an hour north of San Francisco. They started with an old barn, made it beautiful, put in a small plant for making hand-crafted cheese, bought organic milk from the neighbor, Straus Family Creamery... and before long the world found them! From the beginning, they wanted to make delicious, artisan cheese, to be environmentally responsible, and they also wanted to support their cheesemaking friends in being sustainable land stewards. Today, Cowgirl Creamery continues to make just a small collection of cheese -- four, soft aged and three fresh, totaling about 3,000 pounds per week. However, their circle of cheesemaking friends has grown like wildfire and they now distribute extraordinary artisan cheeses from over 200 of America's and Europe's most prized producers.
Artisan cheesemaking preserves a rural way of life
Farmstead cheese from small-scale producers always has a story, quite unlike commodity cheeses, and can be compared to making fine wine. It is possible to name the cheesemaker, identify the pasture where the animals grazed, and to name the breed of cow, sheep or goat whose milk was used. Artisan cheese comes with a sense of place, ecological values, and a unique relationship between the artisan and the raw materials. All of the cheesemakers we work with have great respect for the land and the animals they are the custodians of. In buying farmstead cheese rather than industrially produced cheese, you will support the fine art of farmstead cheesemaking, enjoy a wide range of distinctive cheeses that are full of nuance and flavor, help to ensure jobs in rural areas, and contribute to protecting farmlands from development.