We are a very small, artisan cheese producer on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria. We buy Victorian goat, cow and buffalo milk and make mostly French style cheese.
How did you get started in the industry?
After a 'sea change' from Melbourne to the coast on the Mornington Peninsula, I found a wonderful local goat farm and dabbled in making cheese. Once friends and associates started placing orders, I decided to try my luck in a more professional way and BoatShed Cheese was born.
Tell us a bit about your cheeses.
Most of our cheese is made from pure goat milk and is surface ripened in the traditional French style. We use a very slow lactic set which brings out a wonderful flavour and texture and then we use various methods to create our wonderful wrinkly rinds. We also offer several seasonal buffalo and cows milk cheese. I believe making cheese completely by hand gives the cheese a style and flavour that is hard to replicate by larger, mechanised facilities.
What is your favourite part about being a cheese maker?
I am yet to find a part of cheese making that I DON'T love, but perhaps my favourite part is the nurturing that is required to really bring out the best in each cheese. The turning, washing, drying, airing and careful wrapping of each cheese makes me feel quite protective of them.
What are the biggest challenges you face in your role?
Perhaps our biggest challenge now is how to keep the business at the size it is. We have grown so much bigger and faster than I expected and as I want to keep it very small and 'hands on', I need to make sure that I find more productive ways of maximising our very small space and still produce enough cheese to satisfy our customers.
What opportunities do you see for the future of the Australian specialty/artisan cheese industry?
As a member of the American Cheese Society, I have been embraced by so many members offering advice, support and assistance on a range of fronts and they are so willing to share their knowledge. I am hopeful that our own ASCA can emulate this so that our own new members and existing members alike can learn from and benefit from opportunities that others have enjoyed.
What does being part of ASCA mean to you?
Being part of ASCA gives me the comfort and support that is so essential in a small industry. In addition, as I am new to cheesemaking, having the opportunity to contact other members for guidance and advice is invaluable. I also find the seminars and other learning opportunites very rewarding and enlightening.website: www.boatshedcheese.com