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Artisan Cheese

Our FAB Region has the infrastructure to support artisan cheese-making

Artisan Foods

Condiments, flours, artisan cheeses, charcuterie...

Craft Beer, Ciders, Distilling, Beverages

Distilling, brewing, cider making...

By Georgs Kolesnikovs

More than 125 artisan cheeses from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island will be available for sampling and purchase at the third annual Great Canadian Cheese Festival on June 1-2 at the Picton Fairgrounds in Ontario’s Prince Edward County. Most will be represented by the cheesemakers themselves.

It’s the biggest cheese show in Canada. Plus three dozen artisan foods producers, more than 20 wineries, six craft breweries and one cidermaker.

It’s not too late to purchase advance tickets online. Save money and skip the line at the entrance by placing your order here: http://cheesefestival.ca/tickets/

Here’s the extensive list of exhibitors who’ll be ready tickle your palate:

Plaisirs Gourmets
Fromagerie du Pied-de-Vent
Fromagerie du Presbytère
Fromagerie Île-aux-Grues
Fromagerie La Station
Fromagerie Médard
Fromagerie Nouvelle France
Le Fromage au Village
Les Fromagiers de la Table Ronde
Best Baa Dairy
Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese
ARS Foods
Black River Cheese
Millbank Cheese
Mariposa Dairy
Maple Dale Cheese
Five Brothers Artisan Cheese
Ontario Water Buffalo Company
Monforte Dairy
Woolwich Dairy
Empire Cheese
Upper Canada Cheese
Primeridge Pure
Quality Cheese
Glen Echo Fine Foods
Cows Creamery
Crossroad Farms
Jensen Cheese
Natural Pastures
Salt Spring Island Cheese
Back Forty Artisan Cheese
Farm House Natural Cheese
Mountainoak Cheese
Glengarry Fine Cheese
County Cheese Company
Knoydart Farm
Cheesemaker Showcase
Making Cheese At Home
UrbanSteading DIY Cheese


Agrarian Cheese Market and Speakeasy
East & Main Bistro/Pomodoro
From These Roots
Prince Edward County Lavender
Manning Canning
Mysty’s Distributing
Perth Pepper and Pestle
Evelyn’s Crackers
Cook’s Gourmet
Hot Mamas Foods
Yummy Cookies
La Natura Fine Foods
Nossa Cucina
Henderson Farms
Premier Fine Foods
Seed to Sausage
Queen of the Kitchen Artisan Chocolate Truffles
Artisan Edibles
Angelo Bean
Prince Edward County Fare
Country Girl Cooks
Haliburton Forest
Just Wing It
The Salty Don
Really Horrible Enterprises
Hood Wood
Aunt Lulu’s Country Kitchen
Epicure Selections
Snell House Foods
Crazy Corn
Major Craig’s Chutney
Olivia Chocolatiers
Pina Verde Dessert Factory
Heavenly Honey
Foodie Pages
Mrs. McGarrigle’s Fine Food Shop

Redtail Vineyard
Lacey Estates Vineyard & Winery
Huff Estates Winery
Waupoos Winery
Sandbanks Estate Winery
Casa-Dea Estates Winery
The Grange of Prince Edward Vineyards and Estate Winery
Exultet Estates
Norman Hardie Winery and Vineyard
Keint-he Winery and Vineyards
Stanners Vineyard
Harwood Estates Vineyard & Winery
Closson Chase Vineyard
Rosehall Run Vineyards
Palatine Hills Estate Winery
Black Prince Winery
Lighthall Vineyards
Lang Vineyards
Long Dog Vineyards & Winery
Savvy Sip & Shop

Mill Street Brewery
Creemore Springs Brewery
Granville Island
Beau’s All Natural Brewing
Church-Key Brewing

County Cider

Flatbread Pizza


From Farm to Table Experience
Ontario Agri-Food Education
4H Prince Edward County
Ontario Water Buffalo Company
Milky Way Farms
4H of Prince Edward County
John Nyman Farms
Prince Edward County Museums
Slow Food Prince Edward County
Ontario Wine Society
Farmtown Park
Taste the County
Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory

More than 125 different cheeses and so much more to sample and purchase!

PLUS: Cheese Tours, Cooking with Cheese, Tutored Tastings, Wine & Dine & Cheese,  and Cheese + Beer = Cheers!

For all the info, visit: http://cheesefestival.ca/

Bypass the line at the entrance and save money by placing your order today: http://cheesefestival.ca/tickets/

Admission for one adult to the Artisan Cheese & Fine Food Fair on Saturday or Sunday, June 1 or 2, where cheesemakers and producers of artisan foods will offer their products for sampling and purchase. Fine wines, craft beer and crisp cider will also be available for tasting and ordering for home delivery within a week. Seminars in All You need Is Cheese annex. Special presentations every hour. Dairy farm open all day. Admission includes 10 tasting tickets, glass for sampling wine, beer and cider, access to all vendors and exhibitors, cheese seminars, special presentations and dairy farm. Free parking. Rush seating for seminars and presentations. Advance price $40+HST. Regular price at door $45+HST. A two-day pass is only $15 more and includes $10 additional tasting tickets.

If you need additional information or assistance, please call 1.866.865.2628.

The Great Canadian Cheese Festival is produced by Cheese Lover Productions where Georgs Kolesnikovs is Cheese Head-in-Chief and Certified Good Food Fighter.

Congratulations to Empire Cheese, Maple Dale and Black River who all had a great showing at this years Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.

Cheddar Competition Results:

Cheddar – aged 24 months or longer
#3. Empire Cheese
#4. Maple Dale
#5. Black River

Cheddar – aged 12-24 months
#3. Maple Dale
#5. Empire
#6. Black River

Med Cheddar – aged 6-8 months
#3. Empire Cheese
#6. Maple Dale
#7. Black River

Mild Cheddar – aged 2-4 months
#3. Maple Dale
#4. Black River
#5. Empire Cheese

Extra Mild Cheddar – aged 1-2 months
#2. Maple Dale
#4. Black River
#5. Empire Cheese

Marble Cheddar – any age
#1. Empire Cheese
#4. Black River
#5. Maple Dale
#6. Empire

Stilton Shaped Cheddar
#1. Maple Dale

Variety Cheese Competition

Firm Cheeses
#3. Black River – Edwardsburg (a washed cheese)

Flavored Cheese
#17. Black River garlic and pepper cheddar


Water Buffalo Food!


While the rain poured and the wind blew, hundreds came out to enjoy another edition of the Stirling Water Buffalo Food Festival on September 8.

Several chefs and restaurants competed for the prize of best meal using either meat or cheese sourced from Water Buffalo.  The results in terms of who won were not ready as of the time of this post.

But a great article appeared in the EMC News providing a great deal more information about how it all went.

STIRLING, ON – It’s all about the cheese – whether it’s water buffalo ricotta cannoli, shaved buffalo roast with smoked cheddar or sinful Belgian chocolate truffles with ricotta – the Stirling-Rawdon BIA’s “Water Buffalo Food Festival” is sure to satisfy everyone’s taste buds.

Now in its fourth year, the “Go Buff” festival showcases the creative talkents of regional chefs and locally owned businesses, while playing tribute to the success of the first water buffalo milking farm in eastern Canada, the Ontario Water Buffalo Co., located in Stirling. Vendors have created a range of dishes featuring Mozzarella di Bufala, ricotta and scamorza cheeses.

New to the event this year is Bio Essential Botanicals, a Stirling-based company that will be serving a “Way Better” tortilla chip with mozzarella and cheddar. Also featured this year are beef sliders, caprese salad, ricotta fritters, Italian sodas and lattes, as well as local craft beer, wine and cider that offer a taste of what’s to come at the Hastings Beer Festival in October.

“Our event has become a destination for food lovers both inside and outside our region,” says Elisha Maguire, Economic Development Officer for the Township of Stirling-Rawdon. “The festival is a great way to spend a Saturday with family and friends tasting specially created recipes featuring local foods and ingredients.” The event will be held on Saturday, September 8, 2012 from 11 am to 4 pm.

As in past years, Mill Street will be closed to allow for visitors to amble along the street, sampling foods and local beverages along the way. Tickets, priced at $20 in advance and $25 at the gate, are available online at www.gobuff.ca and at Rustic Routes in Stirling. Ticket prices include festival souvenir and 10 taste tickets.

Maguire adds that they have launched a Facebook ticket contest this year. “We are giving away free tickets to this year’s Water Buffalo Festival. For every 50 likes, two tickets will be given away until the day of the festival. The first set of tickets have been given away and we are well on our way to the next set.”

To be eligible and entered into the draw to win tickets, one must first “like” the Water Buffalo Festival Facebook Page. In addition, regular updates are posted on the festival’s Twitter feed, @WaterBuffFest, and event details and recipes are available at www.gobuff.ca.

Stirling-Rawdon is located in Hastings County, a member of a unique economic development partnership – called the Food and Beverage (FAB) Region – with the counties of Lennox and Addington, Prince Edward County and the Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation (FCFDC) Its goal is to help entrepreneurs establish an artisan food or beverage business in the region.

For more information:
Elisha Maguire
Economic Development Officer, Township of Stirling-Rawdon

The use of a very modern technology to teach the creation of a traditional product recently took top honours in Community Economic Development in a province-wide competition. The Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC) was recognized for its development of an iPad application “How to start a cheese-making business”.

“To start a cheese making business is a pretty complex and long process. And so we gathered that information together and developed the iPad application. We did this because we identified that there was an opportunity for new rural businesses in our communities,” says Anne Prichard, Executive Director of the Frontenac CFDC.

The Frontenac CFDC won the Award of Excellence at the Ontario Association of Community Futures Development Corporation’s Annual Conference, held in Sault Ste. Marie.  The Community Futures office, located in Harrowsmith, was given the prestigious award for the iPad App, the first time such technology has been honoured.  Award winners are selected based on how innovative the initiative is, how it impacts the community and local economy, and whether the concept can be successfully used by another CFDC in a different region.

Ms. Prichard explains that the Frontenac CFDC is a member of a unique economic development partnership with the counties of Hastings, Lennox & Addington and Prince Edward.  It’s objective is to help entrepreneurs who want to establish an artisanal food or beverage business.  This partnership began with the launch of an Invest in Cheese Initiative thanks to funding from the Frontenac CFDC, Trenval CFDC in Belleville, Prince Edward, Lennox & Addington (PELA) CFDC in Picton and North and Central Hastings and South Algonquin in Bancroft. .   Creation of the iPad app business tool followed the successful launch of this economic development thrust.

The first challenge was gathering all the necessary information for the creation of the app.  Information on cheese making using milk from various animals was researched, and then all the rules and regulations had to be collected.  “We were like an individual business looking for all that information and trying to compile it,” Ms. Prichard explains.

Once all the information was carefully researched, the next step was the actual creation of the app, and then it came time for people to learn about the existence of the app.  The CFDC soon got the word out.

“We’ve been fairly successful in getting that information out to individuals who would be interested. We have very active social media on our website with over 2200 people following us.  As well, we’ve had workshops where we’ve brought people in and they’ve come and seen the iPad – and worked right through the iPad application itself,” Ms. Prichard adds.   According to the iTunes store, more than 600 people have downloaded the app.

The app was developed to assist   people interested in establishing a cheese making business,  which in turn adds to growing list of locally produced foods. The Frontenac CFDC, with its county partners, have pooled their resources and are working together to develop and attract artisan food and beverage producers to the region.  Under the banner of Ontario’s Food and Beverage (FAB) region, this historic partnership is actively supporting and working to attract  other area cheese makers, wineries and breweries, as well as bakers, specialty condiment makers and a charcuterie (processor of specialty hams, sausages, patés and deli meats.)

“We are pleased to honour Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation and their partners for their work in developing this Cheese making iPad App.  It shows how innovative they are in bringing technology into everyday use,” says Diana Jedig, Executive Director of the Ontario Association of Community Futures Development Corporations.


There are 61 Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) across rural and Northern Ontario.  They offer free business counselling, loans for start-up and expansion of small business, strategic planning on local projects, and community economic development.  Each CFDC is locally managed by a volunteer board of directors, funded by Industry Canada’s Community Futures Program through FedNor in Northern Ontario, and FedDev Ontario in Southern Ontario. To learn more about Community Futures program in Ontario or the OACFDC, go to www.ontcfdc.com

Fab logo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE     –     February 2, 2012

BELLEVILLE – Ontario’s Food and Beverage (FAB) Region was recognized with an award at this week’s Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO) annual conference in Toronto. The award recognizes the iPad App “How to start a Cheese Making Business in Eastern Ontario” as an innovative use of technology and social media. The App was created in partnership with the Counties of Lennox & Addington, Hastings, Prince Edward as well as the Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation.

“We are thrilled to receive this award”, stated Anne Prichard Executive Director of the Frontenac CFDC. “I am also proud of the way that we continue to work with our neighboring counties to pool resources and funding, and brand ourselves as the place to manufacture artisan food and beverages.”

“With sales of small scale and artisan cheese set to grow by $100 million in Ontario over the next decade, we want to position this region to be at the forefront of this growing industry,” stated Stephen Paul Economic Development Manager for Lennox & Addington County. “Our assessment indicates that there is a need for 25 to 50 new artisan cheese makers across the province and helping prospective cheese makers locate here by providing them with a clearinghouse of information ranging from milk supply, equipment, regulations and financing is just smart business,” added Karin Desveaux Economic Development for Prince Edward County.

“The collaboration between the four counties just made sense and those efforts are paying off. We have already had some serious contacts to follow up with as a result of the iPad App being downloaded more than 600 times. Receiving the award is very gratifying and validates for us that we are on the right track”, said Andrew Redden Economic Development Manager for Hastings County.

The iPad App is a how-to guide for starting your own cheese making business in Eastern Ontario. The App contains over 55 pages of interactive content, guidelines and fundamentals for creating a successful cheese making business from start to finish. Topics include an overview of the cheese making business in Ontario, start-up costs, interviews with current cheese makers, types of farms and animals, and much more.

About FAB Region – www.fabregion.ca

Ontario’s FAB Region consists of four municipal economic development offices, namely Hastings County, Lennox & Addington County, Prince Edward County, and the Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation. Originally we partnered to market ourselves as Ontario’s Artisan Cheese Region – Invest In Cheese. While we are still keeping that brand, we are now moving forward as Ontario’s Food and Beverage (FAB) Region. This includes investment marketing for craft brewing, wine making, distilling, artisan breads, charcuterie, mustard, condiments…. The list is endless.

About EDCO

EDCO is Canada’s largest provincial economic development association that offers this program as well as professional development opportunities throughout the year. Membership is close to 600 that come from the private and public sector.

We have developed a new handbook that guides you through the cheese making process and the important steps involved.  Here is a link where you can download a copy of the PDF version of the handbook and navigate it on your computer/laptop just like you would on an iPad.  Keep in mind it is a rather large file so it may take some time to download if you have a slow Internet connection. However, if you own an iPad, you can download our free app

If you have any issues with it, don’t hesitate to contact us

Also, according to a 2009 report on Artisan Cheese in Eastern Ontario, the demand for Artisan Cheese isn’t slowing.

Put together by St. Lawrence, Loyalist, La Cite Collegiale and Algonquin colleges (to examine artisanal cheese production and distribution in Eastern Ontario), the report had three objectives:

  • To assess the market awareness and demand for artisanal cheese in Eastern Ontario.
  • To determine what Eastern Ontario artisanal cheese producers need to learn in order to satisfy those demands.
  • To determine the ideal approach (college sector applied research and knowledge-delivery) in response to those needs.

We have a copy of the report for you to download here.