National Cheesemakers Day: Meet Our Local Cheesemakers
Skagit Valley Food Co-op loves local! And if you’ve ever took a trip around our specialty “Cheese Island,” you’ve no doubt noticed our wide variety of local cheeses.
National Cheesemakers Day is June 18th, so we thought we’d take the opportunity to feature our local cheesemakers and share some of their cheesy recipes to try out at home! Read on to learn more about the local cheesemakers that stock our cheese island with all that cheesy goodness.
A family-owned farmstead in Ferndale, Appel Farms started with one man’s dream of becoming a dairy farmer. In 1967, he established his dream farm in Whatcom County, and slowly turned a fun cheese-making hobby into a multi-generational business.
Appel Farms produces everything from feta and cheddar to gouda and paneer, and they even offer a cheese shop drive-thru if you’re located in the Ferndale area.
Recipes From Appel Farms
Established in 2002 in Seattle’s world-famous Pike Place Market, Beecher’s has become a staple in the Northwest area, with retail cafe locations in Seattle, the Sea-Tac Airport, New York’s Flatiron District, Bellevue, and Everett’s Paine Field. Their signature Flagship Handmade Cheese is a semi-hard cow’s milk cheese that’s known for it’s robust, nutty, sharp flavor that’s incredibly distinct.
In addition to cheese, they also sell a line of mac and cheese and lasagna dishes that are available in both traditional and gluten-free options.
Recipes From Beecher’s Cheese
Face Rock Creamery
Founded in 2013, Face Rock Creamery specializes in cheddar, curds, Fromage, and Monterey jack. Based in a climate that’s ideal for growing lush, green pastures, Face Rock Creamery is a fairly young company, but they’ve already won several cheesemaking awards.
Recipes From Face Rock Creamery
Offering Italian-style cheeses such as fresh mozzarella, provolone, fontina, and asiago, Ferndale Farmstead is a family-owned operation consisting of milkers, equipment operators, farmers, and cheese artisans.
They’ve been farming in the Pacific Northwest for 3 generations, and their cheese is made exclusively from cows they raise, that were fed crops that they grow on the farm. They use a process they call “seed-to-cheese” which essentially means that the seeds in their soil turn to grass that they feed their cows, which in turn makes the milk that they eventually turn into Ferndale Farmstead cheese.
Recipes From Ferndale Farmstead
- Caramelized Onions, Thyme, & Ferndale Farmstead Fontina Crostini
- Caciotta Bruschetta with Sausage
- Pizza Beans
Golden Glen Creamery
Established in 2004 and handcrafted from their own herd of Holstein, Guernsey, and Jersey cows, Golden Glen Creamery specializes in artisan cheese and gourmet butter.
We carry a wide variety of Golden Glen cheese in all sorts of different varieties including sweet basil, sun-dried tomato, medium cheddar, and medium gouda.
Recipes From Golden Glen Creamery
- Fava Bean and Feta Toast
- Nutella, Strawberry, & Medium Gouda Crackers
- Cheese Plate with Girl Meets Dirt Preserves
Located in Bow, Harmony Fields is a farmstead dedicated specifically to sheep’s cheese. Their cheese, Sally’s Best, is a soft, spreadable cheese that’s similar to goat cheese, but with a creamier texture. They also offer a feta-style and tomme-style sheep’s milk cheese.
In addition to cheese, they also sell fresh herbs, yarn and wool, and sheepskin at their online store and farmstand.
Recipes From Harmony Fields
Samish Bay Cheese
Founded in 1999, Samish Bay Cheese is owned and operated by Suzanne and Roger Wechsler and is located on 200+ acres in Bow. Samish Bay Cheese operates as a farmstead, meaning their cheese is produced by dairy cows that are located on their own property.
Samish Bay offers a variety of cheese products including fresh cheese like mozzarella and feta, and aged cheeses like gouda and cheddar. At their farm stand, they also offer fresh yogurt, kefir, and organic, grass-fed beef.