The Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company (VFCC) has only produced
cheese since January 2011, but has already generated 32 awards to
date for 15 of its 17 varieties, triumphing over many more
established brands. Now the start-up is expanding its distribution
to cheese lovers well beyond Vermont, reaching a total of 15 states
VFCC cheeses will debut in New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire,
Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Georgia,
Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana, Florida and Texas.
"We were founded by neighbors banding together to save an ailing
dairy farm, preventing it from being repurposed, and ultimately
ensuring that it would continue as a vital part of the working
Vermont landscape," said VFCC Senior Vice President Valerie
Traynor. "We've been expanding quickly and gaining recognition,
which has fueled broader distribution."
Created for every occasion and to suit many taste preferences,
several of the award-winning VFCC cheeses include: Farmstead
Cheddar, Lillé (coulommier), Governor's Cheddar, WindsorDale,
Smoked Windsordale, AleHouse Cheddar, Brickhaus Tilsit and Vermont
Applewood Smoked Tilsit, Blueberry WindsorDale, Hot Pepper
WindsorDale, Cracked Pepper WensleyDale, Cranberry WindsorDale,
Chocolate Stout, F.H. Gillingham's Woodstock Village
Smoked Cheddar and SugarHouse Edam.
Named for Vermont Governor Peter Schumlin, the Governor's
Cheddar was rated the No. 1 cow's milk cheddar, aged 12 to 24
months, in the U.S. at the 2012 American Cheese Society Annual
Conference and Competition, the country's most prestigious industry
Governor Schumlin helped to produce the cheese and has
recognized the company for its success in sparking the economy
through job creation and efforts to revitalize the state's
declining dairy industry. Other VFCC cheeses were honored at The
L.A. International Dairy Competition, The Big E Cheese Competition
and the 2012 World Jersey Awards.
"Our entire team is thrilled with the positive feedback and
recognition we've received," added Traynor. "Our passionate farmers
and cheese-makers are brimming with creativity and skill. These
awards and accolades prove that our cheeses reflect the high level
of dedication and care that goes into producing them."
A lot of credit for the cheeses also goes to the cherished,
prize-winning herd. Cow comfort is one of VFCC's founding
principles, which is why every member of the multi-breed herd
sleeps on a temperature-controlled water beds. The more
comfortable and happy the cows are, the better the
milk. Specially designed for dairy facilities, each large
water bed mimics a soft pasture.
Stores slated to carry VFCC products include local cheese shops
in many cities and towns, as well as chains such as Whole Foods,
Publix, and Market Basket. An updated list of more than 200 local
stores can be found on the company website
Based in South Woodstock, Vt., the farm is home to a
prize-winning multi-breed herd, with an adjoining 5,500-sq. ft.
production facility. The company's creative cheese-makers employ
traditional and sustainable dairy farming practices in creating a
line of highest-quality "old-world" cheeses with distinct Vermont
authenticity and style.
Moreover, the company's mission is to foster and support the
state's farming communities, having established The Vermont Dairy
Foundation as a way to develop sustainable small family dairy farms
in Vermont through education and business support. The Foundation
was also created to help reverse the trend of declining dairy farms
and boost the agricultural way of life in Vermont.