One of the things we love about the growing American cheese movement is the spirit of cooperation among cheesemakers, mongers and their fans. While you might expect there to be a healthy rivalry among the country’s top cheesemakers, in fact, they are always willing to give another a helping hand. Just one example — there are two well-known makers of spruce-wrapped cheeses in the US. When one ran into an import problem getting bark just as a batch of cheese was ready to be bound, the other cheesemaker rush shipped some of their own.
Of course, all of these fabulous cheeses we’ve been sharing with you also rely on customers. But there’s more you can do to support the movement than just seeking out American-made cheese at your local shop. There are cheese CSAs — Community Supported Agriculture shares — offered by some cheesemakers. And increasingly, cheesemakers are turning to community-supported financing through Kickstarter and similar campaigns to raise the needed funds for expansion directly from their enthusiastic fans and customers. We’ve recently supported successful campaigns from Caromont Farm and Righteous Cheese here in Virginia and DC — and now another Virginia farmstead cheesemaker needs our help.
Bonnyclabber Cheese Co. at Sullivan’s Pond Farm, Pine Top, Va., built a micro-dairy in 2003 and have been steadily making farmstead goat cheese in traditional, small-batch methods. They have a loyal following at local markets and have been picked up by Whole Foods stores in their area — but now, it’s time to grow their operation. A successful Kickstarter campaign will help them convert a former Coca-Cola bottling plant into a cheese-making and teaching facility, so that they can make more cheese while also teaching a new crop of cheese makers. A worthy goal, indeed. Please check out the video above and consider pitching in — and sharing. The campaign ends November 7, so time is of the essence.