Events, events, events! … And Courtney too.

We at East Hill Creamery are adding the final piece to the puzzle for our community to enjoy. Our beautiful new event venue, “The Chalet”, is complete and we have added to our team once again! We’d like to introduce our new events coordinator, Courtney Hill. Courtney is originally from Bergen, NY. While in high school she became interested in food and gardening and started a small CSA with vegetables from her own garden. She enjoys music and plays the clarinet. While studying Philosophy and Environmental Studies at SUNY Geneseo , she participated in farmers markets in the area selling organically grown veggies from the farms she worked on. While working at a few local restaurants during her college years, she became interested in hospitality and the importance of good customer service.

Courtney has been traveling around the world for the past 3 years! She spent time in New Zealand, Australia, and England with her husband, Tom, as they traveled and worked their way around the world. She has worked in hospitality for the past 10 years and has managed events in all of the countries she’s visited including weddings, corporate events, private dinners, and parties.

 

 

 

Courtney has an eye for creativity, a trait she inherited from her Mom who crafts floral arrangements for special occasions. Courtney aims to please and wants to make that special day one in a lifetime. She will be helping us create, market, and run events in our beautiful new 5600 square foot event venue. She is hoping to make our “Chalet” accessible to everyone in the community by having regular, various events including concerts, tastings, classes, and shows. She can’t wait to have the first wedding in the Chalet! Courtney can be found behind the counter at our store on weekends and helping out with farm markets and festivals. Stop and say “Hi”.

 

 

We'd also like to let you all know that  in our store, starting this week, we have

mini peanut butter cups, milk chocolate truffles, and sea salt caramels from Sweet Sarah's right here in Perry! They are all hand made and as fresh as can be! Only the best ingredients go into Sarah's chocolates and candies. Her chocolate is nut free and gluten free and absolutely scrumptious!

 

We’re in the Holiday Spirit!

We're Having A Holiday Wine and Cheese Tasting!
Join us at our creamery on December 17th for a holiday wine and cheese tasting! We are teaming up with Chef Tim Knowles from Questa Lasagna in Mt Morris to explore several different wines with all four of our cheeses. We will learn how wine and cheese work together to bring your taste buds a truly unique experience!
 
For just $35 you will learn about our alpine style cheese here at East Hill Creamery, Italian wines, experience our famous raclette scraping while we listen to holiday music, and go home with a surprise gift!
Please send us a message or give us a call to sign-up! You can email courtney.easthillcreamery@gmail.com or call 585 237 3622.
 
21+ only event.
 
cost: $35
 
Class runs from 3:30pm-5pm
 
And keep an eye out on facebook and instagram for dates of future classes and a New Years Eve event!
We've got some exciting news coming out of our store too!
We've got you covered for unique gifts for the foodie in your life! This holiday season we're selling gift baskets in all shapes and sizes to fit your budget and tastes! Stop by our store or give us a call to find out more!
 
We're also have a holiday sale for the remainder of 2017! Get 25% off select items like coffee, pickles, salts, and sauces!

Getting Ready For The Holidays with East Hill

In anticipation for the 2017 holiday season we wanted to reach out and let you all know about a few awesome things coming your way!

We wanted to announce that starting November 4th and running through the holiday season we will be hosting cheese and wine pairing classes with local restaurants and wineries.
Each class will be $35 and will feature several cheeses (including some of our own from East Hill) and several wines.
These classes are designed to teach you the basics of pairing so you can stress a little less when it comes to picking out wine and cheese this holiday season.
They will also be a lot of fun and make a great gift for the wine and cheese lover in your life.

Please stay tuned on our website, instagram, and facebook for more information about these classes!

In November we are also launching our Rent-A-Raclette program! Do you love ooey-gooey cheesy goodness? Have you tried our raclette at a past event and thought "this would be GREAT for a holiday party?" If so we want you to know that starting this November we will be offering a Rent-A-Raclette service for parties large and small. For just $250 our basic package will include 1/2 wheel of cheese (that's 6 LBs of cheese!), roasted new potatoes, pickles, bread, cured meat, and a raclette machine maned by a cheese professional for 1.5-2 hours. Please e-mail EastHillLaura@gmail.com for scheduling details!

 

We also are offering special size/pricing on our cheeses for offices and businesses hoping to give away a little cheesy goodness as a corporate gift.  Please contact EastHillLaura@gmail.com for additional information!

 

And finally East Hill will be offering a variety of platters and gift baskets throughout the holiday season!  If you've ever been in our shop you know we have an awesome selection of local goods ranging from soaps to hot sauces to maple products and of course cheese!  If you are interested in a custom basket or platter please give us a call or e-mail EastHillLaura@gmail.com to set this up!  1 week notice is appreciated.

 

 

We at East Hill truly hope we can be a part of making your holidays special.  Please reach out with any questions you may have regarding any of these new services!

 

Thank you,

East Hill Creamery

Welcome to the East Hill Creamery team…Mike Lapiana!

 

Mike with his wife and two sons

In reflection of the bright, sunny weather we seem to be having lately, it was my pleasure to speak to the newest member of East Hill Creamery, Mike Lapiana. Mike is the oldest of all of the cheesemakers, married 20 years and has two sons. However I could hear from his exuberant demeanor that his spirit is young. It was a pleasure to hear about his host of work and life experiences that has already enriched the EHC family.

Born and raised in Perry, NY Mike has had a strong connection to the area and people in our community. He worked locally at Champion Products for 14 years, another 15 years for Athletica of Geneseo. Managing the warehouse for the past 10 years, Mike has a lot of knowledge in the way shipping and receiving should properly function, which will be of great use to the Burley’s as they continue to grow in their business.

When I asked Mike why he decided he wanted to join the East Hill team, he had a simple answer. He said “there is no real magical answer, only he wanted a change.” And a change it sure is! As he saw the building being constructed, he told his children every time he drove by “I am going to work there someday” and he just felt like it was the right place, and the right time.

Mike works in the “make room” in partnership with our other cheesemaker, Dillon. Although he sees the age difference in their work, he says that they make a great team, and that the rest of the staff “keeps him young”. He is surely enjoying the learning curve of cheese making, and is looking forward to our consultant Alex returning to teach more of the chemistry and science behind the processes they do. With an open mind and lots of life experience to propel him, Mike says he is “blessed to be working with such great people, in a business the community is truly excited about supporting”.

 

Mike pictured with his wife
Mike pictured with his wife

Cheese across Cultures

 

As June is National Dairy month, I thought it would be a great idea to reflect on the tradition of dairy agriculture not only in Western NY, but across cultures and how milk, cheese and dairy products have played a crucial role in shaping our cultures of today.

Alex training our new employees on how to evaluate the the correct curd development
Alex training our new employees on how to evaluate the the correct curd development

Last month we had our cheese consultant-Alex-at the creamery with us training our new staff on the proper techniques and procedures to produce our two Alpine styled cheeses. Alex hails from the French Alps and has worked in the cheese industry for over 10 years professionally, learning to first make cheese when he was 15 years old. Using cheese making as a vessel, he has since traveled the world to consult small-medium sized creameries with their cheese production. Although hundreds of types of cheese can be made by variation in the process-its essence remains the same. A combination of regional culture and tradition is why we have so many of the varieties of cheese in the world today. Take a look next time you are in the grocery store-the feta of Greece, the gruyere of France, the paneer of India. Cheese, like one is an international gold mine of diversity.

Yogurt from a farmer's market in Copenhagen-Denmark
Yogurt from a farmer's market in Copenhagen-Denmark

This May I had the incredible opportunity to take a holiday and visit Scandinavia – specifically the countries of Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Iceland. Traveling throughout these countries in Europe, it was clear that dairy agriculture plays a large role in the food of these communities. From the “brown cheese” of Norway, to the Skyr of Iceland – dairy can be seen from field to fork. I had the opportunity to visit a few dairies in Iceland, where I learned that most dairy farms are much smaller than ours (30-80 head) and they only have one breed of cow – the Icelandic Red! These cows have genetics that are well suited to the harsh climate in the region, and produce a higher fat milk than our Holsteins. With only 250,000 total cows in Iceland, dairy production quantity isn’t high but they are able to produce all of what Iceland demands. Many farms are attempting to diversify their product line, including yogurts, cheeses and ice creams to entice agritourism and visibility to the local and international community. It was an experience to see these small farms able to showcase a part of their heritage and culture while encouraging the community to eat more dairy products!

Skyr breakfast in Iceland-the skyr on the left is a thicker, farmer styled product. The Skyr on the right is more similar to our greek yogurt.
Skyr breakfast in Iceland-the skyr on the left is a thicker, farmer styled product. The Skyr on the right is more similar to our greek yogurt.

As I was embarking on my travels, I held in mind the prospect of our cheese being sold in the coming months, what this product means to the Burley’s and their expression of their culture to our community. Just how Alex grew up with farming, dairy and cheese making in his French culture, dairy has shaped the lives of many in our region and across the globe.

From the fields that the cows graze in to the milk products we consume, everything relates and has a story to tell. It has become clearer to me the more I have traveled that cultures are all different, but also the same. The way we organize around agriculture and food is universal-our traditions may have grown and waned, but the essence of farming from the land we have and creating nutritious products from our soil is the story that all of us want to share. As we are now in production of our cheese, we are eager for the coming months as our cheese and story will be shared with our communities. Stay tuned for more updates as we look forward to sharing more with you!

Icelandic cows grazing on spring grass!
Icelandic cows grazing on spring grass!

-Sarah

 

Springtime on the Farm – Part II

 

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of visiting Holly's dairy farm in Dansville, NY. In part I of this blog series, I spoke about visiting the calves and speaking with Holly, read below to hear the rest of the story from the day!

The ladies heading out to pasture after their afternoon milking.
The ladies heading out to pasture after their afternoon milking.

As the cows finished their 2nd milking of the day, they were released to fresh pasture-a distinct difference in their dairy operation than most others. They are smart and instinctual-knowing where to find the “freshest salad of the day”, as they willingly leave the milking parlor searching for fresh forage. The sun began to sit lower in the sky, clouds parted and revealed a sunny scene as the cows actively roamed the grounds. Picturesque? Absolutely. These are the little moments Holly and other farmers revel in, to see their livelihood happy and thriving. As more of us are becoming removed from our food system, it is important to remember that although it is these camera moments we think of when agriculture comes to mind, it is the hard work and dedication we seem to forget. Without the Burley’s and other farm families, agriculture wouldn’t continue to grow and change the way consumers demand it to. Farming teaches hard work, morals, and happiness. The Burley family truly imbibes the core of what it means to be a part of our food system, and Holly was sure to say that she wants her children to grow up the same way she did-in the barn and out in the fields. The day I visited it was truly a special occasion-it was her daughter Daisy’s first birthday. She recounted the story of how Daisy has been at the farm with her every day since she was only four days old! How different her childhood will be than most children her age-whereas 50 years ago the opposite would have been true in farming communities. How contrasted today’s world has become. Slowly people are beginning to ask those questions again of where their food comes from and hold stock in how it was raised. Looking towards the future, it is investments in producing quality milk and now dreams and visions of quality cheese that the Burley’s are focused on. The creamery is also in a time of change as construction is beginning to wrap up and cheese making will shortly begin. Check out our most recent photo update on our Facebook page, and see our first run at making cheese at the creamery!

-Sarah

Hiring One More Cheesemaker!

 

East Hill Creamery is currently looking to hire one more full time CHEESEMAKER to start as soon as possible. See details below..

HELP WANTED: CHEESEMAKER

Starting Wage - $15.00/hr.

Duties include:
Transforming milk into cheese
Cheese cave work such as salting and turning to ensure proper aging
Following established protocols for cheese quality and food safety
Data entry to maintain accurate and detailed records
Obtain and maintain training, certifications, and licenses that are required (prior certification not required, but must be able to obtain certification)
Cleaning – we strive for a clean and safe workplace
Perform all other duties as assigned that are necessary, required, or directed by plant management

Requirements:
Must be neat, organized, detail oriented
Professional and positive attitude and work ethic
Strong sense of teamwork
Must enjoy physical labor
Ability to work on your feet for long stretches, and lift 60+ lbs.
Basic understanding of food safety
Passion for creating and enjoying good food
Must have HS Diploma or GED
Must have a valid NYS Driver's License

Training will be provided – prior experience not necessary, but a willingness to learn and develop new skill sets is.

Send resume with cover letter to East Hill Creamery, LLC, 346 South Main St., Perry, NY 14530 or easthill@frontiernet.net
Applications available at easthill@frontiernet.net

We are trying to hire as soon as possible-as our French consultant is only with us for training for a short time. If you are a serious applicant, inquire this week!

We look forward to hearing from you!

Spring: The Season of Change, Part 1

 

This week has been abuzz with new life as signs of spring have come to the surface. As the green grass grows richer and the roads get muddier from farm tractor and truck traffic, we are reminded how thankful we are for the seasons in Western New York and praying that we have seen the last of old man winter. Spring fever is upon us all, and just the same there are also many jobs to be done on the farm, to which the Burley’s are no exception to this rule. April has been especially busy, as spring calving is underway and the cows are being turned out to full pasture for the season.

With this season of change in mind, this week I had the opportunity to visit Holly Moore, Gary and Betty’s daughter who co-owns Graceland Dairies in Dansville, NY. Holly has been operating this farm since 2007, where it formerly was a hog operation. Taking care to show me what is happening currently on the farm, I got a first-hand look at all of the young calves in the barn as I arrived near the end of calving season.

Spring Calves
Spring Calves

The calves get fed twice a day, and were enjoying the comforts of barn living in the early stages of their life. After 6 weeks of age, they will be put outside for the rest of their lives and never again be confined to a barn. This is a major difference from the traditional dairy practices in most of Upstate New York. Holly agrees that although they do not see the high volume of milk in their cows as barn confined operations, they do see higher qualities in the cow’s health and milk. Stewardship of the land and prioritizing animal care and health are of utmost importance to the Burley family, and it can be seen in the values they hold in their farm practices.

Calf at the water trough
Calf at the water trough

After observing the calves feeding for the evening, we went to visit the cows at the milking parlor. Holly explained that she has a dedicated work staff, that despite the challenges of hiring labor, her business could not operate without their vital work ethic and reliability. Noting the conversation about the possibility of a minimum wage increase, she realizes that her business model might need to modify to adjust for these increased labor costs. But despite these challenges that may come ahead, you can see where the education, experience and background Holly has gained in her young tenure has enabled her to react and thrive in a difficult profession. She has learned what hard work was from her parents, perspective from working abroad on dairy farms in New Zealand, and business acumen from her leadership role at Graceland Dairies. If anything was clear to me that day, it was that Holly and the Burley family are involved in agriculture not because it’s easy work.  It is a part of them and they enjoy working with the animals and the land and they are conscious about of the quality of our food chain.  They are concerned about the origins of food sources for the next generation, and how food production affects health and quality of life for humans and the animals that are a part of it.

Check back next week to read more about my visit to Holly’s farm!