Building is constructed. Cows are producing milk. And now just to make the cheese! And to make cheese, there has to be cheesemakers. We sure hope you enjoyed meeting the first of our three cheesemakers, Kyla, last week, and we are thrilled to introduce you to another East Hill Creamery cheesemaker, Cody Mayer.
Cody is 25 years old and lives in Perry, New York. He was born and raised in western New York, so he is a “local.” His dad is a motorcycle repairman and just retired, so now he is helping out at a marina at Rushford Lake working on boat stuff. His mom is a speech therapist at Pavilion School, and he has one younger brother who is enjoying the freedom of being young and lives out in California.
Before coming to East Hill, Cody was a chef at Letchworth State Park. He worked at a place called Lower Falls Restaurant, where he was the head chef. He spent 6 years there and met some awesome people. He said, “I like making hungry people full; it puts a smile on my face.” He makes an amazing seafood bisque. We know this because he brought it to his interview and impressed us all! He also can make some really good BBQ pulled pork and “lots of other good things”, as he says. We are sure glad to have a passionate “foodie” and chef on our team.
On his way to work this summer, Cody drove by the East Hill Creamery building that was being constructed. It intrigued him, so he looked into it and heard they were making a cheese plant, so he decided to apply. He thought it would be a nice change of pace for him after being a chef for 6 years. Also, his great-grandfather came from Switzerland, and he worked in a cheese factory starting at 12 years old in Eden, New York with his father who used to make cheese in Switzerland. Knowing that he has family roots in the cheese-making business made Cody excited to learn how to start making cheese himself. “Honestly, it’s (cheese-making) something that I have never done, and right now I am just raring to go and excited to get construction out of the way and start making cheese in the big facility,” he said. He then explained, “We have to get our certifications done, and we have to take a test for HACCP. That will certify us to test the cheese and figure out any hazards that could be going on in the facility.
When Cody has spare time, he likes to motorcycle ride with his father a lot (in the summer). He has a dirt bike and they cruise down the street or go through the woods and go on trail rides. It is a lot of fun for him and something that he has been doing since he was a kid. He said that his favorite kind of cheese is Muenster, but he only worked with simple cheeses at the restaurant, so he is really excited to make the more complex styles of cheeses, Gruyere-style and Raclette-style, at East Hill Creamery. We are happy to welcome him to our East Hill family, and are looking forward to the skills he will bring to our team. If you have any questions for Cody, please ask, and as always, thank you for reading today!!