We are excited to announce that Tomales Farmstead Creamery is up and running. We began making cheese, an aged creamy goat, in April 2013.
Tomales Farmstead Creamery wins 2nd place for 'Atika' at the American Cheese Society Conference - our first time entering!
Tomales Farmstead Creamery now at the San Francisco Ferry Building
Out of our immense respect and commitment to this amazing land, we have given our cheese Miwok names:
- Kenne (meaning "one"): A soft ripened cheese with one type of milk (goat).
- Assa (meaning "woman"): An aged (3 mo - 9 mo) goat cheese.
- Atika (meaning "two"): An aged (3 mo - 9 mo) sheep/goat mixed milk cheese.
- Teleeka (meaning "three"): A soft ripened sheep, goat & cow milk cheese.
- Liwa (meaning "water"): Three day fresh farmer's cheese.
The first and only Bay Area organic, cream cheese. The jersey milk comes from a farmer friend in the town of Tomales. No added gums or fillers.
We hold many educational tours throughout the year and by connecting our cheese to the original inhabitants of this spectacular part of the world it will provide a valuable learning opportunity. The Coast Miwok's inhabited the areas of Novato, Marshall, San Rafael, Petaluma, Bodega and Tomales. They spoke their own language in the Utian linguistic group, unfortunately this language is no longer natively spoken. Miwok is a Penutian language of California. There are seven dialects of Miwok which are so distinct from one another that most linguists consider them to be multiple languages. The Miwok languages are highly endangered, but some young Miowks are learning their ancestral tongues again.
Hadley Cameron, Cheesemaker/Farmer, grew up in Bethleham, PA and graduated from University of St. Andrews (Scotland). After deciding that the fashion industry in NYC wasn't her thing she attended the University of Vermont's Farmer Training Program. From then on she knew sustainable ag would be her future. After working at farms in VT, PA and NJ Hadley apprenticed at Toluma Farms. She is now on staff as a cheesemaker and farmer.
Ashley Coffey, Head Cheesemaker, relocated to the Bay Area from western North Carolina. She attended Appalachian State University in Boone where she graduated with a degree in Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture with a focus in Livestock Management. Ashley spent several years working on small-scale diversified farms, and spent a year milking and assisting in cheese making on a goat dairy in Ashe County, North Carolina. She has worked as a cheesemaker at Tomales Farmstead for 2 years.
Sharon Jones, Assistant Cheesemaker, after 30 years of teaching Technical Communication at UC Berkeley, began volunteering at Toluma Farms. She loves the goats! Participating in the life at the farm is an important complement to her desire for simple, delicious food that is grown sustainably.
Jenny MacKenzie, Assistant Cheesemaker. In 2013 a cousin in Maine told me about the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) Apprenticeship program. Through that program I became an apprentice at Appleton Creamery, learning cheese making and animal husbandry with 60 goats. We made a variety of goats milk cheeses as well as some cow's milk cheeses with milk we sourced from a family owned dairy nearby. This experience instilled a love of sustainable and small scale farming and I hope to have a farm of my own some day. I returned to my hometown of San Diego where I began working at The Cheese Store of San Diego as a cheesemonger so that I could stay in the industry. I moved to the Bay Area since there were more opportunities for cheesemaking and took a position in 2015 at Redwood Hill Farm and Creamery. I began as cheese production staff and was in training to be their assistant Cheesemaker.
Maureen Murray, Affineur. After decades as a chef, restaurant owner and artist in Chicago relocated to northern California to raise her daughter and be nearer to family. As a longtime buyer for Taste Catering, the growing number of artisanal cheeses in the US caught her attention and heart. She helped those cheeses reach many a table first by presenting and procuring them for Taste both for events and satellite businesses such as Press Club Wine Bar. To enlarge that role, she relocated to Petaluma and began to sell cheeses first for Cream and the Crop Cheese Selections and most currently Tomales Bay Foods and Cowgirl Creamery. Her deepest interest in cheeses is the ripening life of a cheese so has come on to perform affinage at Tomales Farmstead Creamery.
Julia Berner, Cheesemaker/Farmer, grew up in West Marin where she fell in love with artisan cheese through working for Cowgirl Creamery and Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company. After graduating from Goucher College in Maryland, Julia returned home to pursue a career in cheesemaking. She has spent time gaining experience as a cheesemaker at Pugs Leap Cheese and Bleating Heart Cheese; working with cow, goat, sheep, and buffalo milk as well as making a wide variety of cheeses.
Megan Stahl, Market Manager, bio coming soon...
Emmy Hicks Jablons, Farmers Market & Social Media, bio coming soon...
When it came time to create a logo for the creamery and the cheese labels, the fantasy was that West Marin artist Tom Killion would create a woodcut print of our beloved barn. Of course, we had never met Tom and he does not create artwork for commercial operations. However, we were such big fans of his woodcut prints that we thought it couldn't hurt to try. So, we called him up and, after he discovered that we were a local agriculture operation, he said he would come out and take a look. We repeat this story because it has been the story of the last 10 years. There is such enthusiastic and deep support from the local community that it keeps us moving forward, even when obstacles seem insurmountable. Tom was born and raised in Marin County and produced his first illustrated book in 1975. He has steadily been making multi-color landscape prints, carving his images into linden, plywood, linoleum and other block materials using Japanese hand tools. Tom has long drawn his inspiration from the distinctive scenery of Northern California. His outdoor excursions where he makes on-site sketches are central to his work; spending hours amidst the backdrop of mountains, coastlines, and forests lends him a deep understanding and appreciation for the colors and textures of his prints. Though Tom relies on his notes and sketches, he also allows his imagination and memory to break with reality as his colors are often hyper-saturated and his perspective slightly torqued. Tom's woodcut is the heart of our creamery branding, incorporated into our logo and labels by Maureen of Kringen Media, who has provided years of excellent farm website design, development and recently the creamery logo design and development.