Imagine strolling down to the heart of Nevada City’s historic district to select a locally produced artisan cheese any day of the week or imagine bringing your children down to participate in a round of mozzarella-stretching during the Nevada City Farmers Market.
Now imagine the heart of Nevada City, California being transformed into a foodie destination by its burgeoning artisan bakers, brewers, and local organic restaurants and farms.
Today Wheyward Girl Creamery has the ability to be part of this significant transformation by being what Cowgirl Creamery was to the sleepy hollow, Pt. Reyes, CA, 20 years ago when they first opened their doors.
Two decades, dozens of awards, two creameries, four retail stores and two thousand tons of cheese later, Cowgirl Creamery cheeses are sold to over 500 stores, independent cheese shops, farmers markets and restaurants, and nationally through Whole Foods Markets.
Today, West Marin is one of the most vibrant local food sheds in the world and Nevada City is on its way with Wheyward Girl Creamery being an instrumental building block!
Opening the summer of 2015, Wheyward Girl Creamery will become Nevada County’s first creamery and the next instrumental step in Nevada City’s growing local gourmet scene and local economy!
Hi, I’m Barbara Jenness, master cheesemaker, and I’m Roberta DesBouillons, culinary instructor, entrepreneur, and foodie. We are both extraordinarily happy to announce a creamery is coming to town!
The framework of Wheyward Girl is built around the knowledge that small is beautiful and that craftsmanship is everything. As owners, we understand the importance of being socially, humanely, and environmentally conscious. We are dedicated to promoting a healthy food network that will lead to an even healthier and vibrant community.
This is why we are committed to using locally sourced goat, sheep and cow’s milk to produce our artisanal cheeses. Initially, we will concentrate on fresh cheese, cheese spreads, and eventually butter! Other cheeses such as feta, mold ripened goat cheese, and bloomy rind will be added as our creamery grows.
To better serve our customer base, we will also offer a variety of California-made cheese and high-end American and European classics. There will be a selection of American-made cheeseboards, cheese implements and cheese accompaniments. The products featured will be consistent with our values and will be from small artisans and, when possible, locally sourced and American made.
Our creamery will be located at 209 Commercial Street, in the heart of what is becoming known as Nevada City’s very own gourmet ghetto --100 yards from the iconic Nevada City Farmers Market, the annual Farm to Table Banquet on Commercial Street, and next to Three Forks Bakery & Brewing Co., another successful Kickstarter project!
Nestled in the corner next to Three Forks, our creamery will have a processing area with window for public viewing during our cheesemaking process.
Wheyward Girl Creamery believes in spreading the cheesemaking craft and is excited to provide cheesemaking and cheese pairing classes to our customers. We will not only produce cheese, we will sell cheese and teach cheesemaking. We will also become your local-place-to-go for cheese plates, information on cheese, how to select cheese, and how to produce it!
Why We Will Be Successful
The popularity and sales of artisan cheese continues to experience burgeoning growth. To date there are more than 30 farms and artisan cheesmakers on the official "Sonoma Cheese Trail" in Sonoma and Marin Counties and not one in Nevada County! In these counties, 22,000 acres have been dedicated to making cheese, yogurt, and other milk products, and many small creameries are open for tastings. These industries have created an incredible boon for the local economy by providing local jobs, quality products, and tourism, and we know we can do the same!
Goat cheese, in particular, is regarded as one of the fastest growing segments within the specialty cheese market. Restaurants use it for everything, and this is Barbara’s specialty!
Our goal is to produce delicious, healthy and ecologically sound food for a local market.
Our creamery will join a growing local network of small purveyors of fresh, farm-to-table products, farm-to-table banquets, farmers markets, local restaurants and cafes, CSAs, and the public.
Barbara Jenness has a degree in biology from Grand Valley State University, as well as a degree in Veterinary Technology. Barbara attended cheesemaking workshops at Glengarry Cheesemaking and Supply in Montreal, Canada, Pure Luck Goat Farm in Austin, Texas, North Carolina State University Artisan Cheese Workshop and earned a Master Certification in cheesemaking from Vermont Institute of Artisan Cheese. She also attended business classes at Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women (GROW) were attended to increase her knowledge and understanding of owning and operating a business. Barbara successfully started and ran Dancing Goat Creamery, an award winning small farmstead creamery in Byron Center, MI. Dancing Goat Creamery was awarded Business of the Year in 2010.
Barbara relocated to Grass Valley in 2013 and is currently teaching cheesemaking to home cheesemakers at Tess’s Kitchen and BriarPatch Cooperative. She also returns yearly to teach the Artisan cheesemaking class at Michigan State University. In adapting to a new community, Barbara quickly became aware of the lack of a local creamery and yet the availability of many small goat herds. The idea to pursue a small local creamery was born after discussion with Roberta DesBoullions, a chef and educator.
In 1979 Roberta DesBouillons graduated at the top of the class from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. Roberta has a long history and technical understanding of food science, fermentation and chemistry from working nearly a decade as regional salesperson for SAF yeast, where she won Salesperson of the Year several times. In 2001 Roberta founded Apron Strings in San Francisco, the first Bay Area cooking school devoted to introducing kids to the joy of cooking healthy food from scratch. Roberta successfully owned and operated Apron Strings for 10 years. During her tenure at Apron Strings Roberta facilitated numerous focus groups and team building events for high profile companies such as IDEO, a global award winning product design and branding firm.
In 2011 Roberta decided to leave San Francisco and head for the hills of Nevada City, CA. Shortly after arriving in Nevada City, Roberta met the owner of Tess’ Kitchen Store and collaborated in the design and roll out of their in house culinary program. Roberta is the Tess’ Resident Chef and in addition to her passion for teaching, Roberta also has extensive kitchen design experience. Her design work can be seen in the teaching kitchen at Tess’ Kitchen Store in Grass Valley, CA. where she is currently head culinary instructor.
What Your Pledge Goes Towards
We have secured a $50,000 business loan (not an easy feat), but we will still be short approximately $28,000 for the cheese vat! This is where YOU come in! There's no reason for this to stop us and we know that this community knows a good thing when it sees it! This is why we are stepping out and asking you to be part of this incredible local food movement! Every dollar counts and no contribution is too small! That's how Kickstarter works!
So, please pledge what you can and then share, share, share!!!
Risks and challenges
We are limited with how much we can produce, so if we have to expand to a larger place there could be a delay. The place we would expand, however, is right next door: the Alpha Building. We are sourcing local milk locally, however, we may have to buy from Strauss Family Farm while our dairy farmers get their Grade A rating. There may be limitations on resources.... but they're growing as we speak!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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