Located in the vibrant college town of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Zingerman's Creamery is part of the famed Zingerman's collection of businesses. The original business, Zingerman's Delicatessen, founded in March of 1982 by Paul Saginaw and Ari Weinzweig, still resides in an historic building near the Ann Arbor Farmers' Market, and over the years has gained a national reputation for its great food and great business model.
Despite pressure to expand via franchise, Zingerman's has resisted opening up more branches. Instead they have chosen to create other stand-alone food production enterprises, in the process creating Zingerman's Creamery.
Zingerman's Creamery is headed by John Loomis, and the cheeses John makes are either from cow's or goat's milk, sourced from local dairies. The range largely consists of mold ripened and fresh cheeses, each with their own variation.
Made with pasteurized goat's milk, Little Napoleon is produced using very gentle handling of the cheese curd. Cheeses are allowed to mature for two or three weeks. At this stage they develop a bloomy rind that is a pale, butter-color, sometimes mottled with blue and gray molds.
When young, (two weeks) cheeses have a soft, creamy texture and a gentle, tangy, slightly yogurty flavor. At two to three weeks, the cheese becomes semifirm and develops a full, savory and slightly citrus flavor .
At one month, Little Napoleon becomes firmer and drier, bordering on hard. Flavors at this stage become more assertive and develop more distinct goaty notes.