I’m the Vice President of Supply Chain and Food Safety for a 100 + unit restaurant chain. For 16 years, I also ran R&D and new product development for the chain.
I got my start in homesteading after a fresh-baked bread project at work. Being deeply curious about the art and science of artisan bread, I cultivated my own sourdough starter in my home kitchen from the skin of organic grapes. After playing with artisan bread for about a year, my mind pondered what other commercial products I could make for my family. That is how I developed my love affair with the homesteading arts.
In 2011, I found a book called Home Cheese Making, by Ricki Carroll. A bit timid to try cheese-making on my own, I became excited to learn that Ricki taught a cheese-making workshop in her own home. So, I boarded a plane to Boston, grabbed a rental car, and took a road trip to the Berkshires. The workshop was amazing, and I came home passionate to make my own cheese. While at the workshop, I purchased a large cheese press and threw away most of my clothing so it could fit in my carry-on bag!
On most weekends that year I could be found stooped over my kitchen sink, stirring my curds and whey. I devoured every cheese-making book and website that I could find. After practicing for a year, I hopped back on a plane and took the advanced cheese-making workshop. I was now addicted. I set up a Facebook group with all the students from the workshop and together we all cried over our failures and rejoiced in our successes online, from all over the world!
In 2013, I signed up for a cow share. Two days a week, before and after work, I went to the barn to milk Buttercup, a beautiful miniature Jersey cow. A few months later, I brought home a sweet baby Nubian goat named Curds, then another named Whey. Not long after that, Sonoma Jack was born at the ranch! Then came the “Cheese Caves”, wine coolers and refrigerators specifically altered for temperature and the humidity control, required for aging different cheeses. It didn’t take long before they were all stuffed full of delicious types of homemade cheeses.
All of this culminated over the years, to an epiphany moment in 2019. After an amazing cheese-making vacation in Colorado, I decided it was time that I share my love for cheese-making with the world. Despite some hiccups with Covid-19, Sock Money Ranch Cheese Making School was born with the goal to teach the world to CHEESE!