An Idea Blooms
Jeff and Karen Green began their journey into cheese making in the summer of 2010. Karen, a former social worker and Jeff, having designed, built and maintained dairies for over 15 years, bring in raw, fresh Berry College Dairy milk to their creamery in Roopville, Georgia where they process it into their own, unique, artisan (made by hand in small batches) cheeses.
Notable, is not only that Jeff is an alumni of Berry College, an institution that is a historically important part of Georgia history, but he also helped manage the Berry Dairy in Rome, Georgia as a student, when it was part of the "Normandy" complex, from 1983 to 1987. After receiving a great deal of hands-on knowledge in the management of the Jersey herd and maintenance of the dairy parlor itself, he continued in his efforts after graduation, first working for a local company in Carrollton, Georgia and then starting his own business. In the process, he assisted in building and designing many local and regional dairies, including design of the current Berry College milking parlor.
The Path Becomes Evident
In the summer of 2010, Karen lost her job, and at that time, Jeff was assisting a farm with setting up a milking parlor. After much consideration, they made the decision to start a business with the end goal of producing fine quality, locally sourced, handcrafted cheeses, in the lovely, rolling hills of Roopville, Georgia. After an offer from the Berry College Dairy for them to purchase raw milk produced by Berry Jersey cows for cheese making, allowing them the freedom to focus only on the cheese making process, they accepted. They could then make cheese with the high quality, rich, hormone and antibiotic free milk produced by those healthy, happy Berry College cows. They first built their small creamery, designed by Jeff, with every detail and piece of equipment specifically purposed and placed within the creamery for maximum efficiency, and sanitation. Later, a small shoppe was built inside the building so cheeses and other local products could be sold from the creamery location in Roopville. With no marketing, except for a website created a year later, "word of mouth" as chefs and visitors began tasting and using the cheeses, and the couple's attendance to many local and statewide events (with cheese samples provided, of course) they now work very hard for their customers and continue to enjoy the business of artisan cheese making.
The Dream Fulfilled
Karen and Jeff travel two to three times per month to the Berry campus to bring back the natural, rich, raw, milk, that will, in time, and with proper care and technique, be transformed into delicious, handcrafted, cheese. From pasteurization to packaging, to aging, it all happens inside their Roopville creamery. And what a difference! Restaurants, stores, partners in farmers markets and everyday folks who tour the creamery and/or visit the Cheese Shoppe now have the choice of classic American style cheeses such as Jack, and a selection of one-of-a kind, unique flavors from their variety of award winning fresh and aged cheeses.
Their second year in production (2011) they were encouraged to enter the cheeses they were currently making in the "North American Jersey Cheese Association" bi-annual contest. They were shocked to have won for every cheese they entered; three bronze medals, three silver medals and one gold. The next contest they entered was the Flavor of Georgia, 2013 contest. They were one of three finalists in the dairy category for their aromatic and creamy Applewood Smoked Gouda.
Tours & Hours
Karen and Jeff welcome tours of the creamery (windows in the doors allow visitors to see when they are actively producing cheese), and have the small shoppe where their cheeses and other local products can be purchased. They also have picnic tables on the grounds along with a creek and trails. Please wear protective footwear and call for details and reservations for group tours. The two work in unison without any employees at this time, so they are not always available due to deliveries and events. However, they're at the creamery on most weekdays and Saturdays from 10 to 5. If you don't want to take a chance on missing them, they urge you to please call 770-854-6300 (creamery and house phone), 678-656-4200 (Karen's cell) or 770-301-9690 (Jeff's cell) and if they're not there they will be happy to let you know when they will be!