Naked Cow Dairy raising money for cheese
Naked Cow Dairy is herding funds via their IndieGoGo campaign. Their goal: $15,000 for cheese-making equipment and a cheese aging room.
It's been slow-going for Naked Cow Dairy, which sisters Monique Van der Stroom and Sabrina St. Martin started about three years ago with the idea of doing their own milk processing for glass-bottled, non-homogenized, fresh milk. To bring in some income while they were building a herd and raising money for processing equipment, St. Martin developed a line of butter and cheeses made from Island Dairy cream from the Big Island. The creamery side of the business (the value-added products) has taken off, while the dairy side (the milk) has been put on temporary hold. "We need to make some money so we can feed our cows," St. Martin says.
So they're chasing cheese. "When we bring cheese to the market, like the feta and cream cheese, we sell out as soon as we get there," St. Martin says. "Cheese is consumed daily. Butter, people don't buy as frequently." Right now, she's experimenting with hard cheeses like gouda and cheddar, but it takes her six hours to process 4 gallons of milk; with the cheese vat/pasteurizer she's got her eye on, she can churn out 200 pounds of cheese in the same amount of time.
If Naked Cow Dairy gets the low-temp pasteurizer, not only will St. Martin be able to make mozzarella, brie and camembert, but the equipment will do double duty for milk pasteurizing for when the dairy eventually gets milk production going, hopefully before the cows come home.