20 years ago, dairy goats were scarce in the United States. Today, goat cheese is more popular than ever — chèvre is ubiquitous in salads and sandwiches, and US-made mold-ripened cheeses are making a name for themselves. This increasingly high demand has been both a blessing and a curse for Vermont Creamery, who relies on separate dairies to supply their milk for cheesemaking. High demand is good for business, but there’s only so much goat milk to go around in Vermont — at least, for now.
Vermont Creamery currently buys goats’ milk from 18 farms in Vermont (including Ayers Brook) and from an additional 10 farms within a 200-member co-op in Ontario, but, “ideally,” Hooper said, “we would buy all of our milk from Vermont.”
Over the years Hooper and Reese have tried numerous strategies to develop more goat dairy partners within the state. The new dairy is the latest, and most significant, tactic in this ongoing effort, and something that Hooper said she has been scheming about for years.
Photo by GLENN RUSSELL/FREE PRESS