Showing posts with label Cypress Grove. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cypress Grove. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cypress Grove

Congratulations are extended to Cypress Grove 's Mary Keehn for being one of San Francisco's 2009 Small Business Week Winners.  Cypress Grove produces Humbolt Fg.  That cheese was the catalyst for my cheesy love.  People who don't know that much about cheese know Humbolt Fog.  People who love cheese know Humbolt Fog.  ONe of the best ways to eat it is with a warm pice of homemade bread and a drizzle of good honey.  YUM!  If you want to read the whole story it's here.  This is the cheesy part:

SBA San Francisco Announces 2009 Small Business Week Winners

Last update: 6:33 p.m. EDT April 21, 2009
SAN FRANCISCO, Apr 21, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in San Francisco has announced the winners of its 2009 Small Business Week awards. They range from a Northern California cheese maker and an executive with a Berkeley non-profit that helps low-income women become entrepreneurs, to a marketing/communications specialist in San Jose. The winners - all women - will be announced May 18 in San Francisco during the kickoff of the city's annual Small Business Week celebration.
Small Business Person of the Year: Mary Keehn, owner, Cypress Grove Chevre, Arcata.
Started in 1983 in Humboldt County, Cypress Grove Chevre has put American cheese making on the national (and international) map. Mary Keehn simply wanted a healthy source of milk for her children when she started raising Alpine goats in the 1970s. She soon gained recognition as a premier breeder of Alpine dairy goats, and the owner of way too much goat milk. She headed to the kitchen and started to stir up recipes for cheese. Local chefs and restaurants bought her cheese and word spread fast about the taste and quality. Today, Cypress Grove Chevre employs 42 and has awards from the American Cheese Society, the U.S. Cheese Championship, the World Cheese Awards and the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade. Two years ago, the company won the Outstanding Product Line at the 2007 International Fancy Food and Confection show in New York.
The SBA award's criteria is not only for developing an outstanding business; a business must also help make a contribution to the community. Cypress Grove has earned its reputation as a purveyor of excellent cheese by putting quality first. "We realize that quality must be evident in more than the cheese," says Keehn. "We have to have excellent milk, and that means healthy goats and family farms. By contributing to our employees and community, we make it clear that we are all motivated by the same commitment to quality of life. This award affirms that our focus is appreciated and valued by the business community as well as by our customers."
Keehn has served in leadership roles in a number of industry associations and was also the first chairman of the Humboldt Harvest, an incubator group formed to help small food businesses become successful. She also serves on the President's Advisory Board of Humboldt University.
"We're delighted we can give the award to a woman who is such a great asset to the community," says Mark Quinn, SBA's San Francisco district director whose territory covers much of Northern California. "Mary Keehn's attention to her business, her employees and the Arcata community is what made her an easy selection for our Small Business Person of the Year."
Keehn will receive the award at the Arcata Economic Development Corporation's Spotlight on Success event May 20 at the Arcata Theater Lounge.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Goat Cheese

I am on a quest. My mission is to change the minds of those who don't like goat cheese.

More often than not when people come into the shop they're not quite sure what they want. I ask them what kind of cheese they like and then I'm sure to ask them which cheeses they don't. That's just as important in the fragile cheesemonger/cheese buyer relationship.

"I don't like goat cheese"

It is after hearing this declarative that I find I have to remind myself that "he didn't like goat cheese" is not a valid defense in a trial. At least not yet.

Upon inquiry I find that what they mean is that they don't like fresh goat cheese. Now that I can work with. I love all kinds of goat cheese, but the fresh goat cheese market has some good quality stuff, and some cheese that could turn me off from all things cheesy if I let it. While I love it, fresh goat cheese is not the end all be all to what goats' milk can become.

You can find goat cheese in every part of the cheese world. You can make bloomy rind cheese, cheddar, gouda, aged cheeses, washed rind stinkers and blues. Snow White Goat Cheddar from Carr Valley Cheese Company won first place at the ACS competition last year. They also make one of my favorite blue cheeses, Billy Blue. Humbolt Fog, the cheese that started my love affair with cheese is a goaty delicacy.

Try the triple creme from Coach Farm in upstate NY and then try to tell me you don't love goat cheese. Oh, you're still not convinced? Fine, how about some lovely Mad River Roll from Cypress Grove? No? You're still determined to not let happiness into your soul and goodness into your mouth? How about some Elk Mountain from Pholia Farm? Still no? I am determined. I will find that cheese. cue the dramatic music I will convert you and then you'll never go hungry for a lack of goat cheese again.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

My first love

The year was 2003 and I was working in a kitchen in Virginia. That is where I first met Humbolt Fog. Now, as time has passed I have fallen in love with many other cheeses, including others from Cypress Grove, but none compare. Humbolt Fog was my "first". Our love affair was full of passion and wonder. Was it her sweet slightly funky aroma or the fact that I have a bias towards goat cheeses? I have no idea. All I know is that it was the first time that I remember eating a cheese and being wowed by it.

She ripens from the outside in. When ripe the paste has both a creamy texture (not unlike Bucheron) and a chalky, crumbly texture. She is lovely on her own, but becomes a superstar when she goes out on the town with a hunk of warm crusty bread and some good honey. Oh Humbolt Fog I adore you. You are the reason I love cheese now. You showed me that Kraft is a cheese food but that you my soft, sultry goaty one are the true definition of an American cheese.