By Ali Boochever, Grants Coordinator
Last week, we embarked on a road trip to Rhode Island and Eastern Massachusetts.
The adventure afforded us the opportunity to explore Providence RI, with a visit to Wright’s Creamery, followed by a stopover at Oake Knoll Farm in Foxboro, MA, the sole remaining dairy farm in all of Norfolk County. We ended the trip with Culture Magazine’s Counter Culture event at Boston’s City Winery.
Wright’s Creamery in Providence
Our journey kicked off with meeting Cate Kennedy at the nearly one-year-old Wright’s Creamery – a scoop shop, retail space, and ice cream production site of Wright’s Dairy Farm.
Cate guided us through the storefront and the inner workings of the production area. were given a tour of the storefront and the production/back-end of the space. For more details on the Marketing and Branding Grant that propelled the opening of this bright and charming scoop shop, check out our previous blog post.
Though Cate’s family has been pasteurizing and bottling milk on the farm since the 1930’s, adding ice cream to the operation brought new opportunities.
This off-farm, year-round retail location brings their farm’s essence to the heart of Providence. Experiencing the vibrant and inviting scoop shop in person was a joy, and we were thrilled to see the marketing and branding materials the NE-DBIC had supported. If you find yourselves in Providence, regardless of the season, treat yourself to a cone. Rumor has it, pumpkin Oreo ice cream is a crowd-pleaser. Prefer your ice cream in cake form? No problem, Wright’s sells their ice cream cakes (and many other products), too.
Oake Knoll Farms
From Providence, we drove up to Foxboro to see Terri Lawton of Oake Knoll Farms, another recipience of a Marketing and Branding grant. Be sure to read about their marketing campaign and label refresh project in a previous blog post, here.
While at Oake Knoll, we had the chance to see their new product labels, browse the farm store, meet the cows responsible for the delicious cheese, and hear exciting plans for a future expansion. Like Cate, Terri’s family has a long history of dairy farming in the region, though this farm dates a little further back, to 1732!
At the end of our visit, we were fortunate enough to take home some delicious Lemon Honey Fromage Blanc. It wasn’t a farewell, but rather a “see you tomorrow” as Terri was preparing to give the first presentation at the Counter Culture event the next day on behalf of the Massachusetts Cheese Guild, of which she is President.
Join Terri and the Massachusetts Cheese Guild at High Lawn Farm for the Massachusetts Cheese Festival on Saturday, September 23.
Culture Cheese Magazine “Counter Culture” Event in Boston
In the morning, we arrived at City Winery for Culture Magazine’s Counter Culture event, a full-day, intensive, cheese-filled extravaganza. This event connects cheesemakers, importers, mongers, and buyers in an interactive, educational setting.
Throughout the day were several presentations by cheesemakers, mongers, and importers, each accompanied by a cheese sampling board.
Notably, the three US cheesemakers who delivered presentations were NE-DBIC grant recipients:
Oake Knoll Farms (Marketing & Branding) presented about the Massachusetts Cheese Guild, and led a sampling of her 24 month asiago cheese.
Balfour Farm (Food Safety & Certification and Farm Innovation & Alternative Management) spoke about the agroforestry project funded by the NE-DBIC grant, and led a sampling of their raw-milk aged cheeses.
Fredrikson Farm (Food Safety & Certification and Marketing & Branding) spoke about their whole-circle tagline of “our goats, our milk, our cheese,” and how they don’t ship milk elsewhere, but put everything into cheese production. They led a sampling of their flavored chevre and their beer-washed aged goat cheese, called goatmeal stout.
What a dairy-filled adventure it was!
Thank you Cate, Terri, and the Counter Culture team for sharing your time, stories, and delicious products with us.