Now, as a cheesemonger, I know I should probably love all cheeses and creameries equally–but I do have to say Vermont Creamery has a special place in my heart. One of the few creameries I’ve had the pleasure of visiting, my experience there was more than I had hoped for.
We arrived on a gorgeous, sunny day to a small unassuming building with a little plaque reading “Vermont Creamery- Creamery Office”. Inside, we were greeted with warm smiles and some good coffee (unlike the cup I’d had at the hotel’s free breakfast…). As I slurped my cup of Joe, we were introduced to our tour guide for the day, Sam Hooper (relative to co-founder Allison Hooper), and as our coffees settled into our bellies, we geared up for our tour of the creamery.
And by “geared up”, I mean scrubbed up!
Creameries are incredibly controlled environments; everything including temperature and humidity is controlled to ensure the quality of the end product being made. Before entering, you have to scrub your arms, elbows down, and wear sterile scrubs, head to toe–including a very fashionable hairnet. Then we were finally ready!
And let me tell you, walking through Vermont Creamery was such a homey experience; everyone says hello to you and to one another, and it’s so evident how passionate they are about their jobs. While the creamery does in fact use advanced machinery for many aspect of their production, many of their artisan cheeses still require a human’s touch. Take for example their Bonne Bouche, which is hand ladled and rotated during its aging process, and their Herb Goat Log, which is literally hand-rolled in herbs (No pictures were allowed, but I saw it, I swear!).
When we finished our walkthrough of the creamery, we were treated to a cheeselover’s dream lunch–a cheese platter of course!–featuring the creamery’s own delicious cheeses, butter, and crème fraiche.
With our bellies satisfied, our next stop was the goat farm where Vermont Creamery gets a lot of their milk. I’m totally a dog person and I think they may well be one of the cutest things in the world–but if you’ve never seen a real goat in person before, they might be a close second.
Ayers Goat Dairy, also accompanied by a cute little sign, a bit of a drive from the creamery itself, and boasting the largest single rooftop solar field in the state.
We got to see where the goats hang out, where they breed, where they’re born (even got to see some newborns!), and of course where they’re milked twice a day. Excuse me while I bombard you with some photos…
So before I get carried away with these adorable goats, there are so many reasons why Vermont Creamery is super awesome, so here’s my short list to sum it up:
- Super delicious, high quality products–
- –made by passionate people.
- Family-owned and run
- Good to their employees
- Environmentally friendly & sustainable
- Certified B Corp
- Supports local family farms
- Supports the local community
- Hires lots of women (50% of management! Yay gender equality!)
- LOOK AT THOSE GOATS
Have you gotten the opportunity to visit any creameries you fell in love with? Tell us about it in the comments!