http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rXKOblR_Pc A new generation of artisan cheesemakers are beginning to make their mark in the Pacific Northwest. Among the newest is Full Circle Creamery, located in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.
Cheesemaker Brian Humiston, a graduate of Oregon State University’s Food Science Program, worked for Willamette Valley Cheese Company for several years before starting Full Circle Creamery along with wife Kate in 2010. They were among the first to take advantage of OSU’s innovative cheesemaker pilot program, which allows aspiring cheesemakers to use the college facilities for several months as they start out, testing recipes and working on their business plans.
After their time at the pilot plant, Brian and Kate worked out a unique partnership with Noris Dairy in Scio. Noris has run an organic dairy in the Willamette Valley for many years and also produced cheese for some of that time. Instead of buying a farm or constructing their own plant, the Humistons were able to lease the existing facilities at Noris Dairy, and after installing additional equipment they are now making cheese there year-round. “We don’t know how to be dairy farmers,” says Kate. “Just making cheese, marketing and distributing it takes all of our time. Were happy to leave the dairy farming to those who know what they’re doing.” During the spring and summer, they make cheese using milk from the Noris Dairy’s herd of Jersey cows, and during the winter they bring in milk from Lochmead Dairy in Junction City (the Noris herd is milked only during the spring and summer months). Brian keeps busy handling the cheesmaking end along with help from Justin Rhoads and Lisa Parker, and Kate runs the sales and marketing aspect of the growing business with Bonnie Parker.
The Humistons were deliberate in choosing what types of cheese to make. Realizing that no one was making fresh mozzarella locally, they began with that. Their instincts proved correct, and mozzarella continues to be one of their best sellers. Full Circle Creamery is also making raw milk cheddar cheese as well as cheese curds in a variety of flavors. You can find their cheeses at a number of markets around Oregon, including New Seasons in the Portland area, Cheese Bar, Market of Choice, People’s Co-op and more. Check the website – which is updated often - for additional information, sales outlets and events.
Full Circle Creamery PO Box 13298 Salem, OR 97309 503-990-7325