When Fleming Pfann began making goat cheese in 1987, no one wanted to buy it. Thirty-three years later, Pfann and her husband, Britt, owners of Celebrity Dairy in Siler City, North Carolina, are part of the North Carolina Cheese Trail, a robust community of cheesemakers across the state. The trail, formed in 2014, is a statewide exploration of artisan and farmstead cheesemakers and “friends” of cheese. From the mountainous corners of the west to the wide, flat stretches of eastern North Carolina, cheese lovers can taste a wide and varied selection while traversing the trail. The gorgeous scenery along the way is just a bonus.
Samantha Genke, head cheesemaker and co-owner of Boxcarr Handmade Cheese in Cedar Grove, and cheeseroom assistant Caitlin Law pour cheese curds into molds.
Celebrity Dairy paved the way for cheesemakers in the region over three decades ago. Today, with their herd of Alpine goats, they produce a variety of bloomy rinds, chèvres, and spreads as well as homemade gelato and skyr.
Britt Pfann of Celebrity Dairy spends most of his days managing his herd of 80 goats.
Fading D Farm in Salisbury is the only water buffalo farmstead creamery in the state. Co-owners Faythe and David DiLoreto discovered buffalo mozzarella on a trip to Italy and never looked back.
David DiLoreto scoops brine for buffalo mozzarella headed to market.
Johnny and Robin Blakley operate Buffalo Creek Farm and Creamery in Germanton.
Johnny Blakley of Buffalo Creek Farm and Creamery bags and hangs fresh goat’s milk curds for chèvre.
Brown Creek Creamery offers soft fromage, cheddar cheese, pimento cheese, fudge, and curds made from rich Jersey cow’s milk. Robert Stovall and his family operate the creamery and live just up the road from the farm.
Snow Camp is a bloomy-rind blend of cow’s and goat’s milk, and is one of the most popular selections from Goat Lady Dairy in Climax. Here, it’s shown before the snowy mold develops.
Fryer, pictured here with handler Allison Sturgill, is the Jersey ox mascot of Chapel Hill Creamery, one of the oldest farmstead creameries in the region.
Holly Grove Farms is the largest goat creamery in the state, producing chèvre and fresh curds from a milking herd of 1,300.