When Richard and Sherri started this journey - creating a cheese shop in Friday Harbor - they knew they wanted to make it about sharing their family’s passion for great food. And their first season was just that - with a jam-packed summer, great cheese pairing events, a busy holiday season and the news that their daughter, Aoife, who is living in Ecuador, will be bringing another family member into the world in late May.
During their travels this winter, they had a chance to rest, enjoy family time - and get in a little cheese research at the same time.
First stop was Ecuador in January, where a highlight was the market in Loja, which was an explosion of color and flavor.
In preparation for Aoife’s baby shower, daughter and General Manager Hannah and her boyfriend Chef Bill found locally raised chickens, butchered just that morning, for an amazing chicken stew - and learned they had to choose between “pollo” and “gallina” - or hens, with eggs inside them still intact.
They found all sorts of interesting fruits and vegetables, including dozens of types of little potatoes indigenous to this beautiful country.
There was also farmer’s cheese at the market, though not under refrigeration…
In March, after visiting family in Boston, Richard and Sherri toured Cellars at Jasper Hill, in Greensboro, Vermont. This fascinating place does affinage, the process of caring for and aging cheese. The 22,000 square foot facility has seven different aging caves to age seven different types of cheeses at the proper temperature and humidity.
Next stop was the von Trapp Farmstead. This is where Oma is made. Oma is a delicious washed rind cheese made from raw, organic milk. And it is named after the cheesemaker’s grandmother, Oma, who also happens to be Richard’s sister’s godmother! A final stop was Cabot Creamery, a large cooperative with over 1200 dairies, whose milk is used to make their wonderful cheddars.
San Juan Island Cheese carries several Vermont cheeses including Bayley Hazen Blue, Harbison, Oma, and Cabot Clothbound Cheddar.
The Dalys are looking forward to making this next year an even better experience. Come by and see all the new improvements they’ve added to better serve you!