Artisan Cheesemaking School needs a brick-and-mortar home!
After teaching cheesemaking out of my farmhouse kitchen, at local senior and recreation centers, through extension agencies and at community colleges and retail shops for the past several years, I am ready to create a new teaching space: a brick-and-mortar Artisan Home-Cheesemaking School!
Banks aren't lending to small businesses and entrepreneurs these days. Crowd-funding is an alternative way to help a small business owner get a little seed money to jump-start a new project. If you're inspired by my idea and are willing to help me out, I'll be in a position to pay it forward!
What's this about a free goat?
Each person who contributes will have his/her name entered into a drawing for a free dairy goat kid! The winner's name will be drawn at the conclusion of the campaign if we've met or exceeded our goal. The goat can be claimed by the winner OR donated to a Boulder County 4-H club youth member. As an extra incentive, I will donate a second goat if we double our goal!
Who is Behind This Project?
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Kate Johnson. I am a Farmstead Artisan Cheesemaker, Cheesemaking Instructor, Dairy Goat Breeder, 4-H Leader and a Professional Life Coach! I began as a self-taught cheesemaker about 6 years ago using farm fresh milk from my own small herd of dairy goats. Eventually, I took several cheesemaking classes including an Advanced Cheesemaking course from world-famous Vermont Cheesemakers, Linda and Larry Faillace of Three Shepherds Farm. I have adapted most of my cheese recipes to work equally well with farm-fresh or store-bought milks, making cheesemaking accessible to just about anyone.
Why a Brick-and-Mortar Cheese School?
As the local food movement has blossomed and an interest in growing or producing what we eat has increased, people of all walks of life are taking an interest in learning the art of making hand-crafted, small-batch artisan cheese.
There are plenty of small artisan cheesemakers out there,
but very few people are teaching others how to make their own cheese.
My mission is to share my enthusiasm and enjoyment for home-cheesemaking with as many people as I can to promote fun, adventure, learning and good health. My goal is to offer classes that are relatively short and easy, require minimal equipment or special ingredients, and that take some of the mystery out of the process so that my students can feel empowered to go home and make delicious cheeses to share with their family and friends.
After teaching in other facilities for a number of years, and having to tote my equipment and cheese samples all over town, I have decided I can offer more classes more efficiently and reach more people if I’m located in a central, well organized teaching space.
What Classes Will I Teach?
Most of my classes are 1-2 hours in length and will be offered weekdays, evenings and on weekends. They are hands-on and interactive, with an emphasis on fun and creativity. Oh, and there are always delicious cheese samples at every class!
Some of the cheeses I teach include:
· Chevre & Fromage Blanc
· Artisan Ricotta
· Mozzarella & Burrata
· Intro to Hard Cheesemaking
· Mold-Ripened Cheeses (Brie, Camembert, etc.)
· Trappist-style Cheese
· Dessert Cheeses
· Monterey Jack
· and more!
What Else Will I Offer at the Cheesemaking School?
I plan to offer an array of cheesemaking supplies and ingredients for sale so that students can go right home and make cheese when they finish a class. I will also consign with local artists who will create beautiful cheese-related serving items such as platters, cheese boards, cheese knives and more.
Occasionally I will offer “Cheesemaking Boot Camps”, invite guest cheesemakers to teach, and do Farm-to-Table classes and tours.
I plan to begin Internship and Apprenticeship Programs once my new facility is open to teach interested students not only how to make cheese, but how to teach it as well. This will allow me to share my passion with others while continuing to expand my hours and class offerings by having additional trained instructors. It will also provide some employment opportunities within my community.
I plan to offer other fun ways to learn about and enjoy hand-crafted cheese as well, such as birthday or anniversary parties, date nights, girls’ nights out, corporate team building events, special cheese classes for kids, and more.
I will participate in local community events such as the Colorado Cheese Festival, street fairs, art walks, etc. and will act as a mentor for local 4-H clubs and burgeoning dairy goat farms. And I will be collaborating with a local cheese shop and wine cafe to offer additional classes and other tasty opportunities.
What We Need
Raising $5,000 will help to:
Install a sink in the classroom
Furnish it with tables and chairs
- Purchase new portable burners for each of the classroom tables
Raising $6,500 will help to:
Subsidize rent for 3 months
- Develop and distribute initial marketing materials
- Purchase initial stock of cheesemaking supplies
Raising $8,500 will help to:
Subsidize rent for another 3 months
- Buy a refrigerator for the classroom
- Create and maintain our new website
Raising $10,000 will help to:
Subsidize rent for a full year
Allow me to offer several free community events
including working with a local children’s home!
Raising over $10,000 will help to:
Begin work on an online cheese course
Begin work on a “Cheesemaking for Hopelessly Busy People” Book
What You Get
At each level of giving, you’ll have the opportunity to not only feel good about helping me launch this new venture, but you’ll also receive something fun and useful in return!
Check out all the options to the right. Some of the goodies are more relevant for folks who live nearby or who plan to travel to our area. If that isn’t you, I have alternate goodies at each giving level which can be shipped to you.
In addition to the perks listed, each contributor will have his/her name inscribed as a sponsor on a poster in our new cheesemaking school.
Your funding today will help me meet my goal of having this school up and running by the time the Colorado Cheese Festival comes to town again next fall – November 2014! This event brought in over 2100 people last year and is a huge marketing opportunity for me (I’m already scheduled to give a presentation and have a booth at the Festival!).
And the more people who learn that they, too, can be Artisan Cheesemakers, the happier and tastier the world will be!
One More Thing:
My goats will be happier, too, because they will have a renewed sense of purpose in the world.
Other Ways You Can Help
Tell your friends about this campaign and then, take a cheese class together!