Chevre

Spotlight on Blue Ledge Farm

We’re thrilled to shine our Member Deals Spotlight on a local cheese-making family that produces incredible award-winning cow and goat’s milk cheeses, while also demonstrating a deep commitment to environmental stewardship — Blue Ledge Farm! From June 9th – 15th, member-owners can enjoy a 20% discount on all of Blue Ledge Farm’s delicious cheeses! Read on to learn more about Blue Ledge Farm and the family that brings it to life:

 

 

Blue Ledge Farm of Salisbury, VT is a first-generation, family-owned and operated, Animal Welfare Approved dairy and cheese-making operation established in 2000 by Hannah Sessions and Greg Bernhardt. Their mission is to create a high-quality product built on the cornerstones of respect for consumers, land, and animals as well as their local community. 

The farm began as a dream hatched by Hannah and Greg more than 20 years ago when they met in Florence, Italy while traveling throughout Europe to learn more about the arts and culture of the region. Upon returning home, the couple began transforming a retired dairy farm back into production with their Alpine and LaMancha dairy goats. They started with just four goats, but have grown and expanded over the years, now milking 125 goats twice daily and producing fourteen types of cheese, from very fresh to semi-aged bloomy rind cheeses, to firmer aged cheeses.

They also launched a partnership with neighboring MoSe Farm to produce a line of cow’s milk cheeses. Seth and Monika at MoSe Farm milk Ayrshire cows, a breed known for having superior milk for cheese-making. Twice a week Blue Ledge Farm receives a fresh milk delivery from MoSe Farm which is immediately processed into smooth, buttery Camembrie; creamy, yet crumbly Middlebury Blue; apple cider-washed Richville;  or their newest cheese, a gouda-style Moosalamoo. They also blend the cow’s milk with their goat’s milk to make an aged cheese known as Riley’s 2×4

Seth and Monika from MoSe Farm

In keeping with their mission, sustainable farming practices are a top priority at Blue Ledge Farm. They compost their bed-pack manure and apply it to their fields, thereby creating a closed-loop cycle from grass to goat and back to grass. The goats graze and forage throughout most of the year, which is healthy for the goats, healthy for the consumer, and beneficial to the environment. In 2008 they built an underground aging facility, or “cave”, allowing them to store cheese underground in a naturally cool and moist environment while using considerably less energy to keep the temperature and humidity at desirable levels. They have partnered with Efficiency Vermont on several projects over the years, from a variable-speed efficient milking machine, to more efficient cooling compressors, to newer fluorescent light bulbs, all in an effort to reduce environmental impact. At the heart of their operation is a clean-burning EPA-Approved bio-mass furnace, allowing them to heat their home, cheese-house, and barn, as well as all of the hot water used in the cheese plant, with locally-produced wood pellets! And In 2015 they covered the south-facing roof of their barn with solar panels which provide nearly half of the farm’s electricity usage all summer long!

 

If you happen to be passing through Salisbury, be sure to visit their seasonal farmstand! We also love keeping up with Blue Ledge Farm happenings through their fun and informative blog

 

 

Spotlight on Blue Ledge Farm

We’re thrilled to shine our Member Deals Spotlight on a local cheese-making family that produces incredible award-winning cow and goat’s milk cheeses, while also demonstrating a deep commitment to environmental stewardship — Blue Ledge Farm! From June 24th – 30th, member-owners can enjoy a 20% discount on all of Blue Ledge Farm’s delicious cheeses! Read on to learn more about Blue Ledge Farm and the family that brings it to life:

 

 

Blue Ledge Farm of Salisbury, VT is a first-generation, family-owned and operated, Animal Welfare Approved dairy and cheese-making operation established in 2000 by Hannah Sessions and Greg Bernhardt. Their mission is to create a high-quality product built on the cornerstones of respect for consumers, land, and animals as well as their local community. 

The team at Blue Ledge Farm

The farm began as a dream hatched by Hannah and Greg more than 20 years ago when they met in Florence, Italy while traveling throughout Europe to learn more about the arts and culture of the region. Upon returning home, the couple began transforming a retired dairy farm back into production with their Alpine and LaMancha dairy goats. They started with just four goats, but have grown and expanded over the years, now milking 125 goats twice daily and producing fourteen types of cheese, from very fresh to semi-aged bloomy rind cheeses, to firmer aged cheeses.

They also launched a partnership with neighboring MoSe Farm to produce a line of cow’s milk cheeses. Seth and Monika at MoSe Farm milk Ayrshire cows, a breed known for having superior milk for cheese-making. Twice a week Blue Ledge Farm receives a fresh milk delivery from MoSe Farm which is immediately processed into smooth, buttery Camembrie; creamy, yet crumbly Middlebury Blue; apple cider-washed Richville;  or their newest cheese, a gouda-style Moosalamoo. They also blend the cow’s milk with their goat’s milk to make an aged cheese known as Riley’s 2×4

Seth and Monika from MoSe Farm

In keeping with their mission, sustainable farming practices are a top priority at Blue Ledge Farm. They compost their bed-pack manure and apply it to their fields, thereby creating a closed-loop cycle from grass to goat and back to grass. The goats graze and forage throughout most of the year, which is healthy for the goats, healthy for the consumer, and beneficial to the environment. In 2008 they built an underground aging facility, or “cave”, allowing them to store cheese underground in a naturally cool and moist environment while using considerably less energy to keep the temperature and humidity at desirable levels. They have partnered with Efficiency Vermont on several projects over the years, from a variable-speed efficient milking machine, to more efficient cooling compressors, to newer fluorescent light bulbs, all in an effort to reduce environmental impact. At the heart of their operation is a clean-burning EPA-Approved bio-mass furnace, allowing them to heat their home, cheese-house, and barn, as well as all of the hot water used in the cheese plant, with locally-produced wood pellets! And In 2015 they covered the south-facing roof of their barn with solar panels which provide nearly half of the farm’s electricity usage all summer long!

Hannah and Greg made some incredibly nimble moves over the past year to pivot their business model in response to the challenges of the global pandemic, so much so that they caught the attention of the local news! With the mandatory closure of restaurants and institutions across the state, sales for Vermont’s specialty cheese producers dropped 50-70% almost overnight. As Hannah shared in a blog post last May, “we can’t furlough the goats or the cows and bring them back in a month! It’s spring, and the milk is flowing. If we are to survive we need to adapt.” The shift entailed adopting a direct-to-consumer model, and they found some very creative ways to get their cheeses directly to you, including the addition of a mini-fridge to their Salisbury farmstand where you can get farm-fresh cheeses all summer long! Those who aren’t lucky enough to live close by can order online or by phone and have their cheese shipped. 

Blue Ledge Farm installed a mini-fridge at their farm stand to keep their direct-to-consumer sales flowing.

 

Hannah adds that “we are so very grateful for the support of family, friends, and fellow cheese lovers from near and far who have bolstered our spirits and emptied our cheese supply throughout this challenge! We realize that we absolutely love selling direct to folks! We have worked on ways to create those “magical moments” so during these times of isolation folks can receive a carefully packed cheese package straight from our farm and feel our appreciation. The feedback we have received has kept us going.”

 

 

Cherry Tomato and Chèvre Pasta

This recipe comes from the kitchen of Hannah Sessions at Blue Ledge Farm, who says it’s one of her favorite simple meals to toss together when the cherry tomatoes began to ripen. You’ll find Blue Ledge Farm chèvre in our Vermont cheese case. If your garden isn’t exploding with cherry tomatoes, you’ll find pints of these local jewels in our Produce Department from Orb Weaver Farm and Singing Cedars and you’ll also find plenty of fresh local basil from Singing Cedars. To round out this localvore meal, we suggest tossing it with fresh handmade pasta from The Arcadian (in our Deli Grab-n-go), Vermont Fresh Pasta (in the Bulk refrigerated section), or Grand Isle Pasta Company (in Bulk bins). This is a perfect 15-minute meal to kick off our September Eat Local Challenge!

Spotlight on Vermont Creamery

Feeding a crowd this Thanksgiving? Then you’ll be excited to hear that we’re featuring Vermont Creamery in our Member Deals Spotlight this week! Member-owners can enjoy 20% off their lineup of award-winning products from November 21st – 27th. We’re incredibly lucky to live in a state with the highest number of artisanal cheesemakers per capita, and Vermont Creamery ranks high among them. Their cheeses, crème fraîche, mascarpone, and cultured butter have garnered awards locally, nationally, and globally, creating quite a reputation for this local creamery with such humble roots.  In their 35th year of business, Vermont Creamery supports a network of more than 17 family farms, one of which is in Addison County (Tups Crossing Farm). B Corp Certified in 2014, Vermont Creamery has been ranked one of “The Best Places to Work in Vermont,” by Vermont Business Magazine. Read on to learn more about how the creamery began, their model for being a sustainable mission-driven business, and what keeps them inspired to produce their world-renowned products:

 

 

Their Story:

Allison learned how to make cheese during an internship on a farm in Brittany, France. Bob was working for the Vermont Department of Agriculture and charged with organizing a dinner featuring all Vermont-made products. When a French chef requested fresh goat cheese, Bob scrambled to find a local producer. He asked Allison, who was working in a dairy lab and milking goats in Brookfield, to make the cheese. The dinner was a success and the cheese was a hit; Vermont Creamery was born that night.

In the 34 years since the improbable business partners made their first goat cheese, a lot has changed. But the more things change at Vermont Creamery, the more they stay the same.

They’re still here in Vermont, making consciously-crafted, delicious dairy that reflects who they are and what they care about; they’ve taken the time to perfect every detail of what they make. Their cheeses and butter have won hundreds of national and international awards, their team remains their most valuable resource, and they still put taste above all. You’ll never eat anything they don’t believe in.

Co-founders Bob Reese and Allison Hooper

 

Their Mission:

Taste Above All

We believe that delicious products made with high-quality ingredients bring people together.

Consciously Crafted

You’ll never eat anything we don’t believe in. 

Bettermakers

We take the time to do things right: caring for our farmers, customers, community and environment. 

B Corporation Certified

Vermont Creamery became a certified B Corp in 2014. B Corps are a new type of company that uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. This designation reflects the values upon which the company was founded and their operating philosophies today. The B Corp Impact Assessment provides a roadmap to continually improve their business practices while also applying rigor to and accountability for their mission. Check out their B Impact Score here.

 

Keeping it Local

One of the 17 farms that make up Vermont Creamery’s network is right here in Addison County! Tup’s Crossing Farm is a family-owned and operated goat dairy in Orwell, Vermont. The Menguc family is proud to provide fresh goats milk for Vermont Creamery and they’re regulars here at the Co-op! 

Tup’s Crossing Farm in Orwell, VT

Looking for great recipes? Click HERE!

 

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Stone Fruit

Looking for a perfect meal for a hot summer night?  Keep the kitchen cool and fire up the grill! This simple recipe stars a grilled pork tenderloin with a tangy goat cheese sauce that perfectly balances the sweetness of the grilled stone fruit and the acidity of the lemony arugula salad. Choose peaches, plums, or nectarines – whatever is in season and looks fresh and delicious. You’ll find many of the ingredients you’ll need in our weekly sale from August 8th – 14th, so it’s a great time to give this one a try!

Raspberry Beet Chèvre

Are you packing a picnic for this year’s Festival on the Green? We think you’ll love this simple, colorful, and versatile spread which is perfect on a Castleton Cracker, a fresh baguette, or as a dip with apple slices. Just be prepared for others to want to join your picnic! You’ll find many of the ingredients in our weekly sale display from July 4th – 10th, so it’s a great time to give it a try!

Spotlight on Vermont Creamery

Planning a holiday party? Then you’ll be excited to hear that we’re featuring Vermont Creamery in our Member Deals Spotlight this week! Member-owners can enjoy 20% off their decadent array of award-winning products from November 28th – December 5th. We’re incredibly lucky to live in a state with the highest number of artisanal cheesemakers per capita, and Vermont Creamery ranks high among them. Their cheeses, creme fraiche, mascarpone, and cultured butter have garnered awards locally, nationally, and globally, creating quite a reputation for this local creamery with such humble roots. Read on to learn more about how the creamery began, their model for being a sustainable mission-driven business, and what keeps them inspired to produce their world-renowned products:

Their Story:

Allison learned how to make cheese during an internship on a farm in Brittany, France. Bob was working for the Vermont Department of Agriculture and charged with organizing a dinner featuring all Vermont-made products. When a French chef requested fresh goat cheese, Bob scrambled to find a local producer. He asked Allison, who was working in a dairy lab and milking goats in Brookfield, to make the cheese. The dinner was a success and the cheese was a hit; Vermont Creamery was born that night.

In the 34 years since the improbable business partners made their first goat cheese, a lot has changed. But the more things change at Vermont Creamery, the more they stay the same.

They’re still here in Vermont, making consciously-crafted, delicious dairy that reflects who they are and what they care about; they’ve taken the time to perfect every detail of what they make. Their cheeses and butter have won hundreds of national and international awards, their team remains their most valuable resource, and they still put taste above all. You’ll never eat anything they don’t believe in.

Co-founders Bob Reese and Allison Hooper

 

Their Mission:

At Vermont Creamery, they strive to produce the highest quality cheeses and dairy products using local ingredients while supporting and developing family farms. They aim to exemplify sustainability by being profitable, engaging their staff in the business, and living their mission every day in the creamery.

Vermont Creamery became a certified B Corp in 2014. B Corps are a new type of company that use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. This designation reflects the values upon which the company was founded and their operating philosophies today. The B Corp Impact Assessment provides a roadmap to continually improve their business practices while also applying rigor to and accountability for their mission. Check out their B Impact Score here.

 

Looking for great recipes? Click HERE!

 

Spotlight on Vermont Creamery

With National Dairy Month in mind, we’re casting our Co-op Spotlight on Vermont Creamery and reminding member-owners that they can enjoy 20% off their decadent dairy products From June 7th – 13th. We’re incredibly lucky to live in a state with the highest number of artisanal cheesemakers per capita, and Vermont Creamery ranks high among them. Their cheeses, creme fraiche, mascarpone, and cultured butter have garnered awards locally, nationally, and globally, creating quite a reputation for this incredible creamery with such humble roots. Read on to learn more about how the creamery began, their model for being a sustainable mission-driven business, and what keeps them inspired to produce their world-renowned products:

Our Story:

Vermont Creamery was started by two young visionaries devoted to new and non-traditional agriculture, Allison Hooper and Bob Reese. As a college student, Allison spent a summer traveling in France. She worked on a small family farm in Brittany, earning room and board while learning how to make all of the essentials of what was to become her life passion: cheesemaking. Bob always thought he would one day take over his grandparents’ dairy farm. Unfortunately, by the time he finished his degree in Agriculture, they’d sold the farm. Appropriately enough, the improbable run as long-term business partners began in 1984 during a dinner celebrating Vermont agricultural products. Bob was in charge of the dinner and desperately needed a locally made goat cheese for the French chef’s signature lamb dish. He reached out to Allison, who was then working at a dairy lab and milking goats in Brookfield. Allison made the chèvre on the farm, Bob delivered it to the chef– the dinner was a success and Vermont Creamery was born.
As they say, “time flies when you’re having fun”. And what a fun wild ride we’ve had. A quarter-century ago, $2,000 of savings and a $4,000 loan from an ag-minded Vermont church made possible our first nervous debut of fresh chèvre in the milk house on the farm in Brookfield. We sold first at farmers’ markets, then to food co-ops and French chefs. Back then, fresh chèvre, so popular today, was a dazzling exotic foreign delicacy for American palates. Today, almost 30 years later, 20 Vermont goat farms ship their milk to Vermont Creamery. We are humbled and proud to have won more than 100 national and international awards. Our butter and cheeses populate some of the most prestigious cheese boards in America. But what makes us proudest perhaps is that we have sustained a team of family farms and creamery artisans. Together we thrive making simply great cheese for discerning, appreciative eaters, home cooks and discriminating chefs alike.

Co-Founders Allison Hooper and Bob Reese

 

Our Mission:

At Vermont Creamery, we strive to produce the highest quality cheeses and dairy products using local ingredients while supporting and developing family farms. We aim to exemplify sustainability by being profitable, engaging our staff in the business, and living our mission every day in the creamery.

Our mission is founded on five principles:

  • The farms: Improve our rural communities by supporting family farms which have best management practices that are sustainable and environmentally sound.
  • A culture of continuous improvement: Invigorate and challenge our creamery community to maintain the highest product quality, excel at customer service and care for our consumers by inviting them to be part of our family.
  • The value of cheese: Promotes a life of good health and meaningful connection through the preparation and sharing of good food with others.
  • A responsible manufacturer: Add value to milk while minimizing our impact on clean and plentiful water, clean air, and land.
  • The Team: Accountability and responsibility allows every team member to create a profitable, meaningful and fun workplace where he/she is challenged empowered and motivated by his/her contribution.
  • A workplace that thinks globally and acts locally: Fostering mutual respect and tolerance in pursuit of a better life for everyone resonates within the creamery, into the community, and beyond

Click HERE to read Vermont Creamery’s 2017 Mission Report

Our Culture:

In 2014, Vermont Creamery became B Corp certified. B Corps are a new type of company that use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. B Corp certification is to sustainable business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk. This designation reflects the values upon which our company was founded and our operating philosophies today. We became B Corp because capitalism affects change when it is mindful of doing what is right at the expense of profits. The B Corp Impact Assessment reflects not only what we currently do, but applies rigor to and accountability for our mission.

Our Recipe for Making a Difference-

  • 100% of our company utilizes open book management
  • 100% of Creamery employees participate in profit sharing
  • 100% of our milk comes from small-scale suppliers/farms
  • Our conservation partnership with the Ayers Brook Goat Dairy trains future Vermont farmers
  • 1% of profits are given to support non-profit and community work
  • Cut water consumption by 1/3 even as our business grew
  • 50% of the management team are women
  • 5 days paid maternity and paternity leave per year
  • Carpooling and bike-to-work incentive programs
  • More than 70% of heath insurance premium cost covered by the company

Meet the Goats: