It has been a YEAR for women. Everyday should be a celebration of women everywhere and tomorrow we're showing even extra love to strong, fearless, inspiring female winemakers, cheesemakers, and tastemakers from around the world. So bring your bestie, bae, daughter, sister, aunt, grandma, and of course, Mom, to celebrate Feminist Friday at The Cheese Shop of Salem - and to all the mothers out there - Happy Mother's Day!!!
Some of the coolest lady cheesemakers in the biz!
Allison Hooper, Mary Keehn, Judy Schad – Each of these women deserve their own book, but I am lumping them together because they are all “goat ladies of the ‘80s”, a group of women who helped start the artisanal cheese movement in the US. Allison Hooper, with business partner Bob Reese, founded Vermont Creamery. They make the beloved Cremont. Mary Keehn started Cyprus Grove in California, and her Humbolt Fog is probably our bestselling goat cheese with that beautiful ash line in the middle. Judy Schad created Capriole in Indiana, and I mentioned a couple weeks ago just how in love I am with the sweet and tangy Sofia.
Mary Quicke – Mary, the 14th generation Quicke on the family farm in Devon, England, has been running the cheese business since 1987. She not only promotes her own business, but she also works to promote better cheesemaking and farming practices. Oh, and she’s a regular surfer, brrrrr. Quicke’s makes one of our favorite goat cheddars.
Liz MacAlister – In 1997, Liz started milking 12 Jersey cows and making cheese at her Cato Corner Farm in Connecticut. A couple years later her son, Mark, joined the operation. As a daughter who works with her father, I can appreciate how this can be really great or really tough, and they clearly have made it work with fantastic cheese as the result! For the occasion, I can’t think of any better cheese than Womanchego.
Evelyn Wild – Master cheesemaker at Käsküchen Isny in the Bavarian Alps, Evelyn recently announced her retirement, which means the loss of two wonderful cheeses, Adelegger and Sternschnuppe. Since 1998, she has been making these distinctive Alpines and she and the cheeses will be sorely missed. We still have a little of Sternschnuppe, so come try a cheese that will soon be extinct!
Betty Koster – If you are working in the cheese world in any form, you probably have a crush on Betty. The owner of Fromagerie L’Amuse is Dutch, blonde, tall, and so warm you immediately hope to be best friends. The cheeses she ages – our Goudas, Brabander, L’Amuse, and Wilde Weide – are some of our bestsellers. Over the years she has become one of Holland’s foremost cheese experts and advocates for great Gouda.
Sarah Hoffmann – Sarah owns Green Dirt Farm in Weston, Missouri where she initially thought she might grow some vegetable. However, she ended up with a sheep herd and started making cheese in 2008. She is not only focused on making delicious cheese like Dirt Lover and Winter Wooly, but also running an environmentally conscious organization.
In my dreams, I host a dinner party for all these women and we eat and drink and laugh and tell stories. How insanely fun would that be?!
For the love of women everywhere,