The women behind Collective Creamery, in their own words.
Growing up with a Belgian mother introduced me to strong, stinky cheeses at a young age. I always loved visiting her family in St. Truiden, where cheese stalls peppered the daily central market in town, and you could taste, smell, and see all of the beautiful scents and textures of the region. I was hooked early on.
In college, I grew interested in environmental policy and health policy and how food was at the intersection of these challenges. I have agricultural blood on both sides—my mother's family were apple growers in Belgium; my father's dad grew vegetables and ran a business consulting farmers on soil amendments, Reading Bone Fertilizer Co., right here in Berks County where I decided to come back and lay down my roots.
Cheesemaking, for me, is situated perfectly between the farm and the kitchen. I love being tied to agriculture, being tied to the milk and the cows and the pasture in such an intimate way on a daily basis. And I love working in my artist's "studio," the creamery, where I work with my hands to craft something traditional and original all at once. It's a challenging, fascinating and adaptive process that is never the same from one day to the next. It is right where I belong.