I have been incredibly lucky to meet and become friends with some amazing people in my lifetime, and especially in the last few years. They create, the grow, they shine. It’s so inspiring and so humbling.
And on Sunday, I had the opportunity to take my mom to meet one of my all-time favorite one of these folks – Stefanie Angstadt, at her amazing enterprise, Valley Milkhouse.
My love story with Stef started back in 2012, when I moved to New York to work on Keith’s Farm. We met in the Union Square market, where she was working and running markets for Eckerton Hill, a well-known heirloom tomato and vegetable farm right across the county line from me back home. I can truthfully say that my girl crush grew wildly that season, and when I returned to the Lehigh Valley to start Crooked Row Farm, our friendship solidified. She even helped me build the greenhouse this season, as you may recall.
When she decided to venture out on her own with her newly-purchased cheese-making equipment this past winter, I was overjoyed. Stef had experience on a dairy in the past, and spent a lot of time honing her recipes, looking for a business space, and networking with other area cheesemakers.
In a few short months she was already making the papers. My mom would cut out the clips of my “cheese friend Stef,” and I watched through the Internet as her business grew and grew. This past Sunday she held and open house at the creamery, and it was a stretch to find parking. With chef demos, live music, wine tastings and tables overflowing with cheese (and, in the cheese room, sales), no one could have asked for a better launch party.
Her cheese in on artisan shelves in Philadelphia, in Frecon Orchard’s store, at the Saucon Valley and Easton farmer’s markets and on-site at the Creamery in Oley Valley. Oh, and maybe at my market stands very soon. We’re testing some sales on Saturday at East Falls, so if you want to try the cheese that fits this romance story, get there early.
Follow Stef @milkhousecheese on Instagram, like her on Facebook, and check out her website for more info. Read her full story about her foray into cheese. Some day we’ll all have a big party with our fare, and you’ll be invited. Then you’ll get to meet her. She’s great.
Until then, here’s to dairy and watching the broccoli grow.