In 1995, Josh and Amy fell in love. In 2009, they got married. Then they fell in love again – this time with their herd of Jerseys, and cheese.
Josh and Amy are both Maine farm kids, and having grown up on family farms, knew it was the lifestyle they wanted. Shortly after their wedding, Josh found a small herd of beautiful Jersey cows and was busy working hard at his dream – to own his own farm, work the land, and take good care of his cows.
Amy had always loved life on the farm. She spent her childhood in the barn, naming cows, and even pretending to be one during her early years. It’s a good thing that phase didn’t last very long, and it’s a shame she didn’t spend that time learning how to make cheese. Her love of cheese making came by surprise just two years ago, after 25 years living on the farm.
Amy has always worked off-farm in Web development and was struggling to find her place in the farming operation. A few months after Josh found his herd, a good friend asked Amy if she ever thought of making cheese. Jersey cows naturally produce milk richer in protein and calcium, which translates into wholesome and delicious milk – perfect for making value added dairy products. Amy thought she’d give it a try and soon realized she’d stumbled upon her life’s passion, cheese!
You can’t make good cheese without good milk, and Josh and his herd provide the best product for Amy’s cheese. Always a perfectionist, he takes wonderful care of his cows, knows them all by name rather than number, grows his own organic feed, practices rotational grazing methods and is always learning more about farming.
Josh chose Jersey cows because compensate for their diminutive size (they are the smallest of all dairy cows) with charming personalities, and a higher protein and fat content in their milk than other breeds.
So why Crooked Face? One of the Jerseys has a crooked nose and is a true character on the farm. Jerseys, typically docile and sweet, are not words to describe Crooked Face. She’s all business, and has no time for socializing. This crooked nose is a common trait in Jersey cow, known as a rye face. She made such an impression on Amy & Josh, who also work non-stop and have limited social lives, so she became the inspiration for the creamery’s name.
Artisan cheeses are a labor of love and Amy and Josh work 365 days a year caring for their animals and creating their own unique handcrafted cheeses, specifically their signature Gouda. They chose Gouda because in Amy’s cheese-making research, she came across a vintage Gouda called Robusto. It was the best thing she had ever tasted – a rich caramel color, with a crystally texture and melt in your mouth flavor. She is now on a quest to achieve this “cheese nirvana” and is selling younger Gouda varieties until her Crooked Face Creamery Gouda ages long enough reach perfection. Amy also makes a variety of whole milk ricotta and small batches of fresh cheeses and butter, and plans to diversify the product line over time.