Get to know us! Here you’ll find the latest announcements from our company.
Huge congratulations are in order for Erika McKenzie-Chapter of Pennyroyal Farmstead & Winery. Erika is the first recipient of the Jennifer Bice Artisan Dairy/Cheesemaker Grant Award, a $10,000 scholarship created by Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery’s founder, Jennifer Bice, with the intention to mentor and support the next generation of cheesemakers in California.
Erika will use the funds to purchase equipment to improve productivity and efficiency on the farm, allowing her to increase production of her farmstead cheese.
Read the full announcement from the California Artisan Cheese Guild below:
Pennyroyal Farm Cheesemaker Awarded Jennifer Bice Grant
Today the California Artisan Cheese Guild (CACG) is pleased to announce the recipient of the first Jennifer Bice Artisan Cheesemaker Grant Award. Erika McKenzie-Chapter, co-owner and head cheesemaker of Pennyroyal Farm, located in Boonville, California (Mendocino County) has been chosen from a field of ten CACG member applicants. Applications were reviewed by the California Artisan Cheese Guild’s Selection Committee and will be administered through CACG. Pennyroyal Farm began making farmstead goat cheese in 2012 under the leadership of Ms. McKenzie-Chapter. Pennyroyal Farm is home to more than 100 goats, and 100% of their milk is used to make award-winning fresh and aged goat cheese.
The first-time grant award of $10,000 is a generous gift provided by Jennifer Bice, founder of California’s esteemed Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery, with the intention to mentor and support newer cheesemakers and dairy farmers in California. Bice helped establish the California Artisan Cheese Guild in 2006 and served as a founding board member. The Grant Award stipulates that the recipient be a CACG member, and that funds be used for creamery or farm infrastructure, or for education that relates to improving farming or business practices. “I remember how difficult it was when I started my own business many years ago,” says Bice. “I want to give back to the artisan dairy and cheese industry to help educate cheesemakers whenever I can.”
As dairy co-owner and head cheesemaker of Pennyroyal Farm, Erika McKenzie-Chapter manages the dairy and creamery. Business partner Sarah Bennett oversees the vineyard, a flock of chickens, and a tasting room that sells their cheese and wine. A graduate of UC Davis with degrees in Animal Science and Animal Biology, McKenzie-Chapter dedicates time to teaching cheesemaking and animal care to hobbyists while contributing timely milk component data to research. “I am thrilled to receive this magnanimous award from Jennifer Bice,” says Ms. McKenzie-Chapter. “We are a young, growing company and these funds will help us purchase equipment, some of which I thought would take years to be able to afford, that will improve productivity and efficiency on the farm, and allow us to increase production of our farmstead cheeses,” she adds. The farm was named for the wild pennyroyal mint that carpets the sixty-acre farmstead and vineyard in Anderson Valley.
About the California Artisan Cheese Guild (CACG)
CACG is the state’s only nonprofit dedicated to sustaining California’s artisan cheesemaking community. With a mission to celebrate the quality and diversity of artisan cheeses through partnerships, outreach and education, CACG provides education and networking opportunities for cheesemakers retailers, enthusiasts, and extended industry professionals.
While some of us consider all cheese makers to be saints, there’s only one patron saint of cheese making: Saint Uguzon. In January 2017, Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery Founder Jennifer Bice was inducted into an elite international order named for the saint, the Guilde International des Fromagers and Confrérie de Saint-Uguzon.
At a ceremony in San Francisco, Jennifer was honored alongside 11 other cheese experts and aficionados at the Garde et Juré (Guard and Judge) level. The mission of the Guilde, also known as the Brotherhood of Saint Uguzon, is to preserve the standards and traditions of the ancient art of cheese making.
Who was Saint Uguzon?
According to legend, Lucio Uguzo was a poor shepherd who lived in the Italian Alps around the year 1200. He is credited with discovering thermal caseification, a heat process that increases cheese yields from milk. Uguzo distributed the extra cheese to those less fortunate, which raised the suspicions of his thrifty master. He left to work at a neighboring dairy, where his cheese bounty continued to flourish. Unfortunately, this enraged his first master so much he murdered poor Uguzo. Saint Uguzon is celebrated with a feast every year on his birthday, July 12th.
Creation of the Guilde
In 1969, master cheese maker Pierre Androuët created the Guilde International des Fromagers and Confrérie de Saint-Uguzon as a way to honor the patron saint and uphold the traditions of artisan cheese making. Internationally renowned cheese expert Roland Barthélemy succeeded Androuët as Guilde president in 1992, and was present at the January ceremony to bestow medals on the 12 inductees. The prestigious society, headquartered in France, now has chapters in 37 countries. Members include cheese mongers, producers, refiners, chefs, food scientists, journalists, and artists.
Continuing the Legacy of Cheese Making
This honor is one of many for Jennifer Bice in a lifetime of artisan cheese and dairy making. Over the course of her career, she has created a number of award-winning cheeses and was inducted into the American Cheese Society Academy of Cheese in 2011 as one of eight pioneers of artisan goat cheese in the United States.
As Jennifer shifts her focus to supporting the next generation of cheese makers, she has put in place an annual $10,000 scholarship to a deserving individual involved in the field of artisan dairy or cheese making. The grant will be administered by the California Artisan Cheese Guild and will be awarded for the first time in the summer of 2017.
As part of her succession plan for retirement, Jennifer will also pass on recipes and cheese making equipment for her French-style and fresh goat milk cheeses to fellow Guilde des Fromagers inductee Seana Doughty of Bleating Heart Cheese, ensuring that cheese lovers will continue to enjoy Redwood Hill Farm’s signature flavors for years to come.
Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery to Partner with Bleating Heart Cheese to Continue Production of French-Style and Fresh Cheeses
February 2, 2017 (Sebastopol, CA)
Jennifer Bice, pioneering goat milk farmer and master cheese maker, as well as Founder & Managing Director of Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery, announced today a plan to ensure that her legacy of cheese making continues with the next generation. 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.
About Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery
Located in Sonoma County among the picturesque redwood trees of the Northern California Coast, 60 miles north of San Francisco, Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery is a different kind of dairy. It began in 1968 as a small, family farm run by the Bice family, producing delicious, award-winning goat milk dairy products and is operated by Founder Jennifer Bice to this day. Excellence is a top priority and Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery takes pride in producing the best tasting, least processed goat milk yogurt, kefir and artisan cheeses. The company focuses on supporting Sonoma county workers and community organizations, small-scale dairy farmers, and the dietary needs of consumers.
Also made by Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery is its sister brand, Green Valley Organics. Green Valley Organics’ lactose-free, real dairy yogurts, kefirs, sour cream and cream cheese were created so people with lactose intolerance could bring real dairy back into their lives, enjoying its health benefits and great taste free of digestive troubles.
Both Redwood Hill Farm and Green Valley Organics dairy products are made at the company’s certified organic, solar-powered creamery in Sebastopol, California, with milk that carries the Certified Humane Raised and Handled® label. Redwood Hill Farm was the first goat dairy in the United States to become Certified Humane in 2005.
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(707) 823-8250 ext. 128
By David Bice
At Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery, we have long been known for making healthful and delicious goat milk yogurt, kefir and artisan cheeses – but did you know we are also a mini solar power plant? We make all of our dairy in our solar-powered creamery, where the sum of all electricity needs is covered by renewable energy.
Quality and sustainability are guiding principles for Jennifer Bice, Founder and Managing Director of Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery.
Founder Jennifer Bice finds like-minded partner to carry on her focus on people, quality and sustainability
Sebastopol, California, December 1, 2015 – Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery’s Founder, Jennifer Bice, announced today that she has chosen Switzerland-based Emmi to acquire her company, which will become an independently operated subsidiary of Emmi Holding (USA), Inc. The makers of the nation’s leading goat milk dairy brand, Redwood Hill Farm, and the nation’s leading organic lactose-free cow dairy brand, Green Valley Organics, Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery will continue business as usual at their creamery’s location in Sebastopol, CA.
Bice has committed to stay on as head of the company, overseeing day-to-day operations for several years until she retires, retaining ownership of her farm and 300 goats. The company’s entire leadership team will remain in place, with all employees retained and all jobs secure for the community in west Sonoma County, CA. Emmi and Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery have agreed to keep the terms of the acquisition confidential.
“My succession decision is the result of years of careful planning and research,” says Jennifer Bice, Founder of Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery. “More than anything,” she continues, “I wanted to ensure that, after I retire, Redwood Hill will continue to thrive as a Sonoma County business, a community resource, and that we can continue our efforts to make pure, wholesome and organic food more accessible and affordable throughout the United States.”
We are thrilled to be in Issue 3 of Conscious Company Magazine as a handful of the nations top sustainable cheese producers! Redwood Hill Farm Owner and CEO Jennifer Bice was interviewed about her woman-owned company and her 45+ year commitment to sustainability and the environment.
You can pick up a copy at Whole Foods Market, Sprouts, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, and other local retailers—you’ll be supporting sustainable businesses.
CLICK HERE to read the full article.
Updated 6/24/15 9:16am by Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery
June 19, 2015
PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
REDWOOD HILL FARM & CREAMERY, INC. RECALLS 3LB RAW GOAT MILK FETA IN BRINE DUE TO POSSIBLE HEALTH RISK
June 19, 2015 – Sebastopol, CA – Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery, Inc. is voluntarily recalling its 3lb Raw Goat Milk Feta in Brine buckets, with lot code #14000610, out of an abundance of caution concerning test results indicating the presence of Listeria monocytogenes. The product comes in a white plastic bucket marked with a white lot code sticker on the top, reading lot code #14000610. Two buckets are shipped per case in a brown cardboard box with the brand sticker on the side and lot code sticker on the top (see picture below).
We’d like to wish our customers,
friends and colleagues all the best in 2015.
Thanks for being part of our fun and success in 2014. From our annual Spring Farm Tours to all the community and national events we shared with you,
it was a great year.
Please visit us online often in the upcoming year for the latest news from our farm and creamery. Also, if you haven’t already, we invite you to join our “Goat Club” by signing up for the Redwood Hill Farm newsletter and be the very first to receive special recipes, images, and promotions all year long…enjoy!
Redwood Hill Farm Plain Goat Yogurt was chosen as 2014 FOODIE AWARD WINNER runner-up by Vegetarian Times Magazine editors and readers.
We are proud to share the exciting news that Redwood Hill Farm Plain Yogurt was selected as a runner-up of VEGETARIAN TIMES (VT) Magazine’s 6th Annual Foodie Awards, which were announced in the October 2014 issue now available on newsstands. VT editors nominated 100 of their favorite products in 25 categories, covering all sorts of eating situations from breakfast, lunch and dinner to snacks and treats.
Readers were asked to vote for their favorite products at vegetariantimes.com, where nearly 5,000 votes were cast. Redwood Hill Farm Plain Goat Yogurt was a runner-up in the “plain yogurt” breakfast category.
Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery’s Bucheret Goat Cheese and Plain Goat Milk Kefir Win at 2014 American Cheese Society Competition
We are honored to announce that our Bucheret Goat Milk Cheese and our Plain Goat Milk Kefir won second place at this year’s prestigious American Cheese Society’s Judging and Competition in Sacramento. Bucheret placed second in the Goat’s Milk Cheese Aged 31-60 Days category and the Plain Goat Milk Kefir placed second in the “All Milks” Kefir, Drinkable Yogurt, Buttermilk and Other Drinkable Cultured Products category, amid nearly 1,700 entries from 248 companies in the overall competition.