Specialty Food Magazine


Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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Page 40 of 131

Farm to Table CoachFarm.com Coach Farm's goat milk yogurt is made by hand on our Hudson Valley Farm. The milk comes from goats born right here and are fed what we grow. Our yogurt contains only the good stuff! Available in Strawberry, Honey, Vanilla, Maple Brown Sugar or Traditional Plain. ✓ Grade A Milk ✓ Probitics ✓ 100% Natural ✓ No Preservatives pered efforts to make sheep cheese a viable business. Without the higher-production dairy breeds, creameries struggle to get enough milk to meet demand and to keep prices reason- able. "The biggest limiting factor in the U.S. has been the lack of milk," says Tom Clark, co-owner of Old Chatham with his wife, Nancy. "We haven't been able to bring in any new genetics in about 10 years. If we had better genetics from Europe, we could totally change production and make it more attractive." Despite Obstacles, Appeal Grows Sheep are notoriously stingy milk producers. David Major, whose pioneering Vermont Shepherd Cheese debuted in the early 1990s, says a good ewe from his flock will produce 400 to 500 pounds of milk a year, enough for 80 to 100 pounds of aged cheese. A dairy cow, in contrast, may yield 20,000 pounds of milk in the same period. Sheep's milk is considerably higher in solids, so a pound of sheep's milk yields more cheese, but not enough to bridge this vast difference. With cow's milk currently at 22 cents a pound and sheep's milk—if a producer can find it—fetching a dollar a pound, "the extra solids content doesn't offset the pricing," says Clark. The seasonality of sheep's milk complicates a creamery's business plan. Unlike cows, which breed and lactate year-round, ewes are more sensitive creatures. They are more fertile in fall and winter, difficult to breed at other times. At Vermont Shepherd, Major can produce Verano, his all sheep's milk wheel, only from April—shortly after the ewes give birth and begin lactating again—until November, when the ewes dry off. Fortunately, consumers seem willing to pay a premium for domestic sheep cheeses, merchants say. Few American producers can compete on price with popular imports like Spain's Manchego and France's Abbaye de Belloc. "But I don't think they have to because everyone wants local," says Rob Graff, a cheesemonger with Venissimo Cheese, a San Diego retailer with three locations. "And in San Diego, local means West Coast, or even domestic." Summer Fancy Food Show Booth 2368 cheese focus 38 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE specialtyfood.com Shepherd's Way Farm Burr Oak cheeseFocus_S14.indd 38 3/11/14 3:21 PM

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