It was back in 2014 when Laura Davenport and Fons Smits decided to start their own creamery after working together for more than 10 years at two other creameries, Traders Point Creamery and Ludwig Farmstead Creamery.
It was 18 years ago when Russell glover and Angela Miller went searching for a nice quiet second home in the country and came across a huge farmstead and 300-plus acres in the stunning rolling hills of Vermont’s Champlain Valley.
With more than two decades of operations, two creameries, four retail stores, dozens of honors and 2,000 tons of cheese, it’s safe to say Cowgirl Creamery, located in picturesque Point Reyes Station, CA, is a success. And to think, it all started thanks to a journey in a baby blue Chevy van.
You see, in 1975, friends Sue Conley and Peggy Smith graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, packed up the van, and drove cross country to the then-counter-culture cuisine epicenter—the Bay Area.
In 2002, Sarah Hoffmann was struck with an idea — she would use her family’s Weston, MO-based farmland to make artisanal sheep’s milk as a way to be economically sustainable. The problem was, she didn’t really know how to make cheese, and she didn’t know how to milk sheep.
Laura Chenel’s was founded by its namesake in 1979, though starting a cheese company was not her initial goal. As a young woman, Chenel was someone who traveled a great deal and was an early adaptor of the belief that one should provide their own food. She grew and made what she could, and acquired some goats, too, in the process.