Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery’s French-style cheeses, made since 1994 at Jennifer’s farm and since 2004 at its Sebastopol creamery, will ensure continued production in the hands of local artisan cheese maker, Seana Doughty of Bleating Heart Cheese in Tomales, CA. Jennifer Bice will also establish an annual scholarship for aspiring young cheese makers.
Over the course of her career as a cheese maker, Jennifer Bice has created a number of award-winning, French-style and fresh goat milk cheeses including Bucheret, Terra, California Crottin and Chèvre. As part of her succession plan for retirement, she will pass on recipes and cheese making equipment to fellow cheese maker Doughty, ensuring that cheese lovers will continue to enjoy Redwood Hill Farm’s signature flavors for years to come.
All of the goat milk for these cheeses will continue to come from Jennifer’s 300 dairy goats at her own farm in Sebastopol. Production of French-style, rind-ripened goat milk cheeses will cease at the Sebastopol creamery and is expected to begin again after Bleating Heart Cheese has adapted its production capacity and schedule in 2018. Bleating Heart Cheese will continue making all of its current cheeses, while adding these new recipes over time. Bice’s line of traditional goat milk cheeses, including Aged Cheddar, Smoked Cheddar and Goat Milk Feta will remain for sale under the Redwood Hill Farm label.
“In my heart, I have and will always be a farmer and a cheese maker,” says Jennifer Bice, “Looking to the future, I want to make sure my cheeses live on and that the next generation of cheese makers, especially women, get the support they need in the marketplace. My life focus will return to my goats, which is where I started at the age of sixteen.”
In addition, Jennifer Bice has put in place an annual $10,000 scholarship to a deserving individual involved in the field of artisan dairy or cheese making to provide support in ongoing education, and investments in creamery and farm infrastructure. The grant will be administered by the California Artisan Cheese Guild and will be awarded for the first time in the summer of 2017. Details on how to apply are forthcoming.
Retiring from hands-on cheese making of Redwood Hill Farm’s French-style, rind-ripened cheeses and Chèvre is the second step in Jennifer Bice’s journey of succession planning after selling her business to farmer-owned dairy maker Emmi of Switzerland a little over a year ago.