- Bonne Bouche
In 2014, when Vermont Creamery built an aged-cheese facility at its Websterville HQ, the company left room for "future expansion," said community and education coordinator Kara Herlihy. Just three years later, plans to construct an additional aging room, drying room and cooler are already under way.
The impetus for the new expansion is the company's St. Albans aged cheese, launched last October, a verified non-GMO product that the New York Times deemed "small, but potent." "It's been a great success for us and taken up a lot of room," Herlihy said.
This has been a good year for Vermont Creamery, whose Bonne Bouche just won a coveted Good Food Award. To meet the demand for St. Albans and other aged cheeses, management opted to begin the new construction much earlier than planned.
The expansion must be accomplished without disrupting the cheeses that already cycle through the facility — no easy feat. "There are a lot of pieces to it," said Herlihy. "Everything is medical grade ... [There must be] drains in the floor, racks, an air-flow system that has to come from France."
The ventilation system isn't the only thing that comes from France. Cofounder Allison Hooper learned the craft of cheesemaking there, and it's the birthplace of the Creamery's president, Adeline Druart. On February 16, in response to the current political climate, Druart wrote a blog post about her personal journey from immigrant worker to company president.
"In Vermont and at the Creamery, I never felt like an outsider, and I was always welcome; hospitality was offered up freely wherever I went, despite a language barrier and cultural differences," Druart attested.
Politics aside, if VC's success is any indication, France's cheesemaking culture is a hit with the American palate.