Located near Colchester in Connecticut, Cato Corner Farm is owned by mother and son partnership, Elizabeth MacAlistair and Mark Gillman.
Having owned the farm for a number of years, Elizabeth started milking cows and experimenting with cheesemaking in 1997 with a view to keeping the farm alive and sustainable. Two years later in 1999, Mark left his job to join her and, after they had each taken several workshops and courses, they were able to begin cheese production in earnest.
The farm is home to a mixed herd of forty Jersey and Brown Swiss cows that graze outside from May to the end of October. During the winter months they eat only natural fodder and supplements.
Mark is the primary cheesemaker at Cato Corner and is also responsible for the cheese aging. Elizabeth manages the farm and milking.
All the cheeses are made by hand in small batches from raw milk. Mark makes a variety of cheeses, the style of each type being suited to the seasonal components and characteristics of the milk.
Named after Ireland's Saint Bridgid, Bridgid's Abbey is a washed rind cheese made in the monastic style so favored in Belgium and France.
Cato Corner's best seller, Bridgid's Abbey, has rich, meaty, buttery and mild flavors that make it approachable and interesting. There are notes of grass and hay and pleasant savory flavors with a long finish and a lactic tang.
Bridgid's Abbey is aged for three to four months before release.