Meet the Cheesemakers: Suanne & Dave!

Meet the Cheesemakers: Suanne & Dave!

Meet Suanne and Dave, a husband and wife team taking home cheesemaking to the next level!

After Suanne completed her Art of Cheese Gold level certification in 2015, she and Dave sold their Boulder, Colorado townhome and moved themselves and their newly acquired goats to 5 acres near Paonia, Co. They plan to grow their herd and their cheesemaking skills into a commercial farmstead cheesemaking operation. (Suanne has since earned her Art of Cheese Platinum level certification. Congratulations, Suanne!)

Herdmaster Dave is up at dawn, feeding, milking, and attending to the goats. As they wean the new kids (13 and counting!) Suanne expects their Saanen and Nubian does to provide them with five gallons of fresh milk each day. “We’ll start with a raw milk CSA for milk and cheese until we build our creamery and get USDA certification,” Suanne says.

Dave milks the does twice a day. The milk is immediately brought to the cheesemaking room for chilling. In addition to a sink and workspace, there’s room to store all the milking and cheesemaking equipment, a small fridge for the fresh milk, and an aging space – a full sized refrigerator with a Johnson controller.

sanddsupplies

Sanitation is a high priority and it shows in every step of Suanne’s and Dave’s milk handling and cheesemaking. “We wash and sanitize all the milking equipment, jars, and cheesemaking equipment after every use, and sanitize again before it is used.”

Suanne is experimenting with a wide variety of cheeses, fresh to aged. “We need to learn what our customers will buy. People are looking for something a little fancy. Diversification is key.”   She is especially fond of her honey lemon chevre, but has also made feta, queso fresco, camembert, colby, jarlsburg, baby swiss, and parma style cheeses, just to name a few.

To learn more about Suanne and Dave’s cheesemaking adventure, visit them at

www.facebook.com/westernculturefarmstead.

sueannemiller

Submitted by Becca Heins

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