Founded in 2002, FireFly Farms is owned by Mike Koch and Pablo Solanet and produces a range of cheeses made from goat’s milk.
The partners’ original creamery was located in a neighbor’s converted barn, adjacent to the herd of milking does. After a few years, the company soon started to outgrow the premises and Koch and Solanet began searching for a new location in 2008. One year later premises were acquired in Accident, Maryland, in an historic building that was formerly a machine shop. Over the course of three years the building was converted, and is now home to the creamery as well as FireFly Farms’ flagship retail store.
The store allows plenty of interaction between customers and the cheese business as well as being an attaction to visitors in Garrett County.
The original herd of milking does was sold in 2006. Firefly Farms now sources goat milk from six local farms, each located within 20 miles of the creamery.
Cheesemaking operations are managed by Matt Cedro together with Head Cheesemaker Dan Porter.
FireFly makes a variety of both younger and more aged cheeses that have won numerous awards at national competitions. Their cheeses are produced from pasteurized milk since Maryland regulations require this.
Production of MountainTop Bleu began in 2002. Pablo, who was the cheesemaker at the time, originally envisaged development of a different type of cheese. However, both Mike and Pablo loved the result and decided to enter it into the American Cheese Society Competition where it won a ribbon.
Inspired by such a successful result, they decided to take the recipe into full production. It has won many awards ever since.
MountainTop Bleu is a pyramid shaped cheese covered with a bright white coat of fluffy penicilium candidum mold that gives it the appearance of a mountain. Cheeses are aged for approximately three weeks prior to being wrapped and are released for sale at four weeks.
The outer rind encases a soft, yielding, bright white texture, punctuated with subtle blue veins.
Flavors are also subtle and delicate with clean, earthy notes of mushrooms followed by nuanced hints of blue.
Good wine pairings for MountainTop Bleu include Rosé, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc.