A message from Owner and Cheesemaker, Marie-Laure:
In August 2020 we celebrate being in business five and a half years. I started this project in 2010 in Europe with extensive, self-guided training in cheesemaking, goat husbandry, and business. My years of hands-on learning with a world-renowned French affineur and phenomenal artisan cheesemakers paid off with your appreciation and with immediate awards for our cheeses in both the regional and international spheres. Every cheese that we submitted to competition won at least one award.
In addition to my goal of making excellent, prize-winning cheeses, I aspired to sell our cheeses nation-wide to small artisan shops. While we weren't in every shop around, we did make it out to California, down to Virginia, and many other spots we do not even know about as we worked with distributors.
And while Couët Farm & Fromagerie did not achieve my third goal of being so profitable that the business would support my family, I am very proud of what we were able to do. I hired and worked with wonderful people, I had great relationships with vendors and customers, my cash flow was always positive, and calculated spending allowed us to try new ways of selling our cheeses and increase efficiency in production. However, margins in this business are thinner than a young Evelina rind.
This is also where I must take my leave.
To tell you that starting and running a business is challenging is an understatement. The level of stress coupled with the obligation to learn and manage all aspects of a start-up is impressive. Yet, this is the part of my business that I love; the learning, the big picture, the creativity. I know myself better today than I did ten years ago when fell in love with goats and cheese and I can tell you that, while I want to see my recipes live on, I am not the person to grow Couët Farm & Fromagerie.
We are going out of business and, while I am open to the possibility that our unique and beautiful cheeses will live on by the hand of another cheesemaker, this may be the end. As Rainer Maria Rilke wrote in his third letter to Franz Kappus, "His art is not without blemish; it has been imprinted with passion and transience. Little of it will continue and endure. (But this is true of most art.)"
Thank you for five and a half years of enthusiasm and support. Meeting you face to face at the farmstand and at our farmers' markets has been the highlight of our work. We appreciate you and we love you from afar. I will keep writing and connecting through our newsletter as long as we have cheese... and maybe after. I do not know what my next adventure will be.
In comradery and love,
Old-world heart meets new-world innovation
At Couët Farm & Fromagerie we create unique, award-winning cheeses for your every meal. We believe that food should nourish your soul and that everything we do should support and empower our community. Our mission is to be a sustainable family business that creates beautiful, delicious, wholesome cheeses.
Following several years of apprenticeships in Europe and a life-long love of cheese and agriculture, Marie-Laure Couët opened Couët Farm & Fromagerie. With the goal of supporting and feeding our community, we create small-batch, handmade cheeses with milk from single-source family dairies. We carefully select this milk for quality and yield and we pay fair prices in order to actively contribute to the strength of our regional economy.
We are a woman-owned and operated family cheesemaking company since 2015.
From biodegradable insulated shipping material, to sourcing our electricity from a community solar farm, to paper tasting spoons and Ovtene calcium carbonate cheese paper, we aim to have a small footprint and a positive impact on our planet.