Stepping into the office of Vermont Creamery was like walking into a swanky business office in New York City. Employees donned “Chevre Forevre” t-shirts and all had a happy-go-lucky attitude about them. As we signed some policy forms and received our name tags, we headed over to the packing and processing facilities located in the building next door. Inside the facility a lot was going on. People were moving huge crates of creme fraiche and goat cheese logs were being packaged and labeled, all while everyone held a huge smile on their face.
Vermont Creamery was founded by Allison Hooper and Bob Reese, whose partnership started in 1984. They started off selling their fresh chevre at farmer’s markets and co-ops, and then to French chefs and beyond. Over thirty years later, Vermont Creamery has won more than one hundred awards for their cheeses and has expanded its distribution throughout the US. They offer cow’s milk cheeses and goat’s milk cheeses with products including cultured butter, mascarpone, bijou, and feta.
Down at the farm, we had a chance to meet with Allison’s son, who manages Ayers Brook Goat Dairy where they raise most of their goat milk. Ayers Brook has over one hundred acres which they had help financing through the Vermont Land Trust. There are around 150 goats with breeds including Alpine, Saanen, and Nubian. They source their cow’s milk from St. Albans Co-op. The co-op includes 450 family farms within Vermont that pledge to produce high-quality, hormone-free milk. High butter fat and outstanding quality cream help to make their creme fraiche and cultured butter so delicious.
Each step of our tour of Vermont Creamery we were greeted with kind words and passion. It is not a question as to why they have become such a well known and successful company in Vermont and throughout the surrounding area. Their hard work and dedication to producing sustainably raised and delicious products shines through with every smooth bite.
Written by Sophie Shillue.