Grafton Village Cheese has been selected as the Okemo Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce January 2023 MEMBER OF THE MONTH winner. We wanted to recognize their recent ranking as one of the Best (Cow’s Milk) Cheeses of 2022 from Culture Magazine as well as their other 2022 National & International cheese awards!
Grafton Village cheese also won first-place in the American Cheese Society’s competition last summer in the clothbound cheddar category. According to Culture Magazine, “seven months of aging in cheesecloth give these wheels their mottled gray rind, grassy golden paste, and deep flavors of forest floor and salted nuts. Crumbly, faintly citric, and exquisitely balanced, this might just be the perfect table cheese“. They were also awarded another “Best in Class” medal for their Bear Hill Cheese at this competition last July in Portland, Oregon.
In June, Grafton Village Cheese also took home four awards from the International Cheese & Dairy Competition in England. In the Best USA Cheese category, their Traditional Clothbound Cheddar received a gold medal, while their Bear Hill cheese earned a silver medal. Bear Hill also won a silver medal in the best non-UK/UK Cheese category, while Shepsog earned a silver medal in its division.
The Grafton Cooperative Cheese Company was founded in 1892 by dairy farmers who gathered together in a cooperative to make their surplus raw milk into cheese. In the days before refrigeration, there were many such cooperatives in the rural agricultural communities and an abundance of fresh, creamy milk was turned into a food that could be stored for a longer period of time.
In 1912, a fire destroyed the original factory. Several decades later, the nonprofit Windham Foundation restored the company in the mid 1960s, and a new era for the town was born. Today, quality and taste are the hallmarks of this company’s award-winning cheeses. Their traditions have stayed over the years as they make their cheese by hand using premium raw/unpasteurized milk from small, local family farms.
As a part of the Windham Foundation, Grafton Village Cheese works to promote Vermont’s rural communities; you directly support that mission when you purchase Grafton Village Cheese.
Using premium milk collected from small, local family farms, Grafton Village Cheese makes their cheese by hand to produce exceptional New England style aged cheddar cheeses, which they sell to distributors, retailers and restaurants. Grafton Village Cheese Company produces handmade, raw (thermized or heat-treated) milk cheeses with premium hormone-free milk collected from small family farms. Their original cheddars include distinctive cheeses that have been aged for up to four years and a selection of flavored cheddars. Their Cave Aged line is made of cow, sheep and mixed milk original cheeses that are aged in our caves in Grafton.
All of their cheeses are produced at their original Grafton Village facility. They currently produce three types of cheese:
- aged cheddar including: Grand Reserve Cheddar, Reserve Cheddar, 2-Year Aged Cheddar & 1-Year Aged Cheddar
- cave aged cheese including: Clothbound Cheddar, Shepsog, & Bear Hill
- flavored cheese including: Maple Smoked, Truffle Cheddar & Smoked Chili Cheddar
The geographical area Grafton Village Cheese serves includes New England, the Eastern Seaboard, mid-Atlantic, and the upper Mid-West. Grafton Village Cheese currently operates with over 30 employees in their two locations – Grafton and Brattleboro Vermont.
According to President Ruth Flore, the best feature of their business is “we have wonderful people dedicated to making great cheese!” She also describes the most surprising feature about their business is that “Grafton, where we got our start, is home to our parent company the Windham Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote Vermont’s rural communities through its philanthropic and educational programs.”
Grafton Village Cheese owns and operate a retail store that offers their cheeses as well as a selection of other Vermont cheeses, American artisan cheeses, and imported cheeses. Visit their Grafton Village storefront, located at 56 Townshend Road in Grafton. They also have a retail store in Brattleboro. You can also find their cheeses at specialty cheese shops, gourmet food stores, natural food stores, food co-ops and selected supermarkets around the country.
Although Grafton Village cheese has only been a member of the Okemo Valley Regional Chamber since 2020, Ruth feels that the “support and regional marketing opportunities to promote our businesses is a great benefit. Just as beneficial is being a part of and collaborating with the business communities in our region.”
Learn more at their website: graftonvillagecheese.com