5 years ago

Minnesota-Made Artisanal Cheeses

Our cheese specialists are a remarkable group of experts found in each of our stores. They can help you build a great cheese plate, pick a perfect pairing or find a new, unique cheese to try – including many Minnesota-made options! Take a look at some of our cheese specialists’ favorite Minnesota-made cheeses. See you at the cheese counter!

Ike Wagner ACS CCP
Cheese Specialist, Lunds & Byerlys Northeast Minneapolis

Shepherd’s Way Farms | Nerstrand, MN
When you’re looking for the finest quality locally made artisan cheeses, Shepherd’s Way Farms quickly comes to mind! Steven and Jodi Ohlsen Read use fresh sheep’s milk and world-renowned sustainable farming practices to hand-craft many of Minnesota’s most well-known (and super delicious) farmstead cheeses! From the rich, grassy wood tones of their signature Friesago, to the deep, bold tangy bite of their Big Woods Blue cheese, any of Shepherd’s Way Farms’ family crafted cheeses can add a distinctly Minnesota flair to your meals.

Michael Brantl ACS CCP
Cheese Specialist, Lunds & Byerlys Downtown Minneapolis

Capra Nera Creamery | Altura, MN
I’m pleased to introduce this new Minnesota gem – Contadina goat cheese – from Capra Nera Creamery. I first met Katie Wiste, owner of Capra Nera, last year when she visited my cheese counter. After chatting, she invited our cheese specialists to visit her operation and get our hands in the curd. As a result, we now carry her cheese in five of our stores. The unpasteurized goat’s milk cheese reminds me of some of the Spanish cheeses of the Basque region. And, did I mention that we got to play with the baby goats on her farm? Welcome, Contadina goat cheese!

Renee Pitman ACS CCP
Cheese Specialist, Lunds & Byerlys Highland Park

Caves of Faribault | Faribault, MN
The Caves of Faribault are made of St. Peter sandstone, which is uniquely well suited for aging cheese. We sell three cheeses from the caves – Fini Cheddar, St. Pete’s Select Blue and Jeff’s Select Gouda. Fini Cheddar has a nice creaminess-to-sharpness ratio with a hint of mineral in the finish. It’s young enough to melt, but old enough to pack a punch. Use it for mac & cheese or sandwiches. St. Pete’s Select Blue is my go-to all-purpose blue. It’s equally at home on a cheese board or crumbled over a salad. I suggest pairing with candied nuts or anything bacon. And Jeff’s Select Gouda is their newest offering, and it’s a real standout. Its bright orange rind is edible and funky, encasing a paste that’s complex and intense with waves of sweet caramel and salty bouillon flavor and abundant crystallization. This will be the most memorable cheese on your platter. Pair it with fresh berries or chocolate, or my favorite – serve with an artisan summer sausage for an all-out umami bomb!

Lori Yunger ACS CCP
Cheese Specialist, Lunds & Byerlys Roseville

Redhead Creamery | Brooten, MN
Family, passion and happy cows all add up to create a delicious variety of cheeses created by the Redhead Creamery in Brooten, Minnesota. Lunds & Byerlys is proud to carry the wonderful artisanal cheeses from this strong, supportive Minnesota family. One of their signature cheeses – “Little Lucy” – is named after the cheesemaker’s daughter. The smooth, creamy Brie is perfect for 2 to 3 people as an appetizer paired with our L&B pepper jellies. Come in and sample any of their fabulous cheeses at our cheese counter!

Justin Pitman ACS CCP
Cheese Specialist, Lunds & Byerlys Uptown Minneapolis 

Alemar Cheese Company | Mankato, MN
One of my favorite cheeses is Alemar Cheese Company’s Good Thunder. The cheese experts at Alemar start with a beautiful, classic French-style Reblochon (a cheese washed in salt water and cultures) and make the recipe a truly local treat by adding Bender beer – the famous American oatmeal brown ale from Surly. The wash creates a magical mix of pasteurized grass-fed organic milk, cheese making artistry and beer-engineered microbial alchemy resulting in a delectable cheese with a delicate funkiness.

Alicia Baldwin ACS CCP
Lunds & Byerlys Deli Category Specialist 

Stickney Hill Dairy | Rockville, MN
When you step up to a Lunds & Byerlys cheese counter, the endless choices can be intimidating. Our cheese specialists are there to help make the choice easier by introducing you to new finds and their favorites. My local favorite is Stickney Hill Chevre, which comes plain or flavored (honey, herbs or spices). Stickney Hill started locally in 1999 and is now an internationally known manufacturer of goat’s milk cheeses. Last summer our cheese team was invited to visit their new state-of-the-art facility in Rockville and get a behind-the-scenes look at this award-winning operation. We’re very excited to have this amazing artisanal cheesemaker right here in Minnesota. See you at the cheese counter!