Grand Forks, British Columbia is just over the border in the Boundary Country of eastern BC. It's a fascinating little town that's home to a significant settlement of Russian Doukhobors, a pacifist group that migrated to Canada in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century....so that explains the Russian restaurants sprinkled throughout the hamlet of 5,000 people.
Grand Forks is also home to Jerseyland Organics, an organic cheese and yogurt maker that's been operating since 1994. Originally started by Ric and Vickie Llewellyn, Jerseyland grew from one cow to a significant herd of Jerseys. After transitioning to organic status in 1994 (Jerseyland was the first organic dairy in Western BC), the Llewellyns started cheese and yogurt production. One of the reasons the Llewellyns began making cheese was that the Doukhobors were looking for someone who could make the kind of cheese they liked, so Ric started out making a type of cottage cheese favored by the community. The cheese business grew from there.
In 2006, the Llewellyns sold Jerseyland to Jeremy and Keely deVries. Jeremy is a third generation farmer of Dutch descent from the Lower Mainland with lots of farm and dairy experience; he had worked with Ric on the farm for several years prior to the purchase. Jeremy and Keely are a hardworking couple committed to organic and sustainable farming and plan to continue the legacy left by the Llewellyns. They've chosen to focus more exclusively on the cow's milk cheese and yogurt lines (the Llewellyns also sold beef and made goat's milk cheeses) and are working hard to expand their markets. Several employees assist on the farm and with the cheese and yogurt making process and on the weekends, Jeremy drives the product to markets all across BC.
Jerseyland has a very nice shop on site with windows looking on to the cheesemaking area - you can also purchase cheese and sample cheese curds while you're watching. Jerseyland makes several Gouda style cheeses (plain and flavored), an Asiago, Parmesan, Feta and Cheddar. All are made from pasteurized milk and have the characteristic richness that comes from good Jersey milk. The yogurt is available both plain and flavored (strawberry, blueberry and vanilla) and is non-homogenized so it has a lovely 'cream on the top' effect.
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Jerseyland Organics 2690 Almond Gardens Rd. Grand Forks, BC V0H 1H0 250-442-8112
Jerseyland cheeses and yogurt are available in Grand Forks as well as at a number of independent groceries and co-ops across British Columbia; unfortunately, they're not available in the US.