Category

Dairy

The Artistry and Inspiration Behind Sequatchie Cove Creamery’s Unique Cheeses

By | Charcuterie, Cheese, Dairy, Gourmet, Gourmet Cheese, Local, What Chefs Want

Nathan and Padgett Arnold, founders of Sequatchie Cove Creamery in southeast Tennessee, are the driving forces behind an artisanal cheese venture that encapsulates passion, creativity, and a profound connection to the land. Their journey into the world of cheesemaking is a captivating tale of love, innovation, and dedication to preserving the essence of their region. From humble beginnings to becoming an award-winning creamery, the Arnolds’ story unfolds as a testament to the transformative power of inspiration, both local and global. Through their intricate process of crafting unique cheeses, the Arnolds pay homage to their surroundings while embracing flavors and techniques from around the world. Join us as we talk with Padgett Arnold and delve into the narrative of Sequatchie Cove Creamery.

What led to the creation of Sequatchie Cove Creamery? How did the idea to start making cheese originate for you and Nathan?

Padgett: We took a unique path from our original backgrounds. Back at the University of Georgia, I was studying horticulture with the aim of becoming a specialist in edible crops. Nathan and I connected through shared interests and found ourselves working at Crabtree Farms, an urban farm with a strong commitment to sustainable agriculture and community access to food. This was during the late 90s in Chattanooga.

During that time, we met the Keeners, and Nathan joined them at Sequatchie Cove Farm to grow their produce program in 2003, while I remained at Crabtree. While Nathan was at Sequatchie Cove, he became increasingly drawn to working with the farm’s animals and exploring ways to add value to the operation.

The question arose: How can we create sustainable livelihoods for multiple families on this small farm while meshing well with its existing enterprises? The notion of cheese came into play, along with the concept of adding value to the farm. It’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg situation, but that’s the journey that brought us here.

Let’s delve into your sources of inspiration. Where did you find the creative spark for Sequatchie Cove Creamery?

In 2004, a trip to Italy left a lasting mark on us. At an international farming and food festival, we were exposed to a diverse array of foods that planted the seeds of inspiration. It was there that we encountered new cheeses, particularly French alpine varieties.

There was a period that Nathan was traveling a lot, making contacts through the American Cheese Society and learning as much as he could through these contacts. He also studied cheesemaking in France, which became a huge source of inspiration for our own creations. He adapted the unique techniques and essence of those French cheeses and blended them with the distinct character of Tennessee’s Sequatchie region.

Cheese making is both scientific and artistic. It’s not just a wheel of cheese, it’s a work of art. Our cheeses have aesthetic appeal that resonates, particularly among chefs.

Ok, let’s talk about these cheeses. Take me through them and what makes them so special.

Cumberland

Our first cheese, the Cumberland, is a simple and rustic Tomme, inspired by the French Tomme de Savoie. It offers buttery and earthy flavors, complemented by a tangy grassy note and subtle hints of macadamia nut. Chefs love its versatility – it can be grated onto pizza, used as a substitute for gruyere, Havarti, or cheddar, and it’s even “kid friendly.” Its natural rind boasts a distinctive gray and white spotted appearance that makes a statement on a cheese board. With a long shelf life, it’s very kitchen friendly as well.

Search Item #91165 

Coppinger

Coppinger is our top-selling cheese and demand is really driving production. Demand has been going up and up.

It is a Southern take on the classic French Morbier, Coppinger is a semi-soft washed rind cheese with a striking layer of decorative vegetable ash in its center. The velvety elastic paste is savory with notes of fresh grass and smoked meats, making it ideal for the cheese plate or melted into any dish.

This is a another very versatile cheese and it blends well with a lot of flavors Try it melted on a burger or as the ultimate grilled cheese; it’s also great as a substitute for raclette.

There is a bit of an education curve here with Coppinger, and people sometimes think with the ash line, that this is blue cheese. It is not. That unique line through the center is an ash line, that doesn’t change the flavor at all. Beyond being visually interesting, the ash line mellows out the tanginess and smooths out the finish.

Chefs are drawn to the Coppinger for its visual appeal and versatility.

Search Item #91166 

Shakerag Blue

Shakerag Blue was just recently added to the What Chefs Want offering, so it is now available to your customers!

Shakerag Blue’s colorful name is derived from both the beautiful Shakerag Hollow known for its wildflowers and rich moonshining past.

It is a crumbly yet dense, blue-veined cheese wrapped in local fig leaves which have been soaked in Chattanooga Whiskey. It matures gradually in our cool room and the slow ripening process yields a mellower flavor profile and creamier texture. The flavor isn’t overpowering, it is much more delicate, in fact, often people who don’t enjoy blue cheese, enjoy Shakerag Blue. It crumbles well for salads and steaks and deserves a prime spot on the cheese board.

I am actually the one who harvests the fig leaves to wrap this cheese. We store them in food-grade buckets, submerged in whiskey until we are ready to wrap the cheese. The fig leaf wrapping does mean that our scalability is limited by leaf availability. Occasionally, we experience production pauses as we await the readiness of fig leaves.

It is a very labor-intensive process, but the chefs go nuts for it.

Search Item #91934

As you continue to grow, how do you intend to maintain the authenticity and community-centered approach that has been integral to your creamery’s success?

It is important to us to be connected to agricultural raw materials. We never want to lose that local touchpoint.

Right now we are sourcing our milk from the only surviving dairy in the Sequatchie Valley. We really see our role as we grow as being about the cheese itself, but also about growing and supporting dairy in the region. We want to turn the ship around for the farmers – and the more we are able to grow, the more we are able to buy from the local farmers, making dairy farming a viable option for new farmers in the area.  

What would your advice be to someone just starting out?

Learn everything from people who can teach you. Really. Seek a mentor and learn as much as you can before you just jump in.  Start with a narrow focus. Study and understand someone else’s successful enterprise.  Fortunately for us, this industry has been a supportive and inclusive atmosphere and we’ve had people very enthusiastically cheering us on, but it is not an easy path.


Item of the Day: Spicy Halloumi Cheese

By | Cheese, Chef's Feed, Dairy, Gourmet Cheese, Grilling Essentials, Hors d'oeuvre, Item of the Day, Retail Ready, What Chefs Want

Spicy Halloumi Cheese – Item 91375 

All the grilling goodness of original Kynthos Halloumi – now in a spicy version!

Fry it up and put in a sandwich for a spicy lunch,

cut into cubes and layer between peppers & onions and grill for a spicy meatless kabob,

or simply enjoy it fried on its own.

Item 91375 – 8.8 oz Pack  


Item of the Day:  Wooly Wooly Sheep’s Milk Spreadable Cheese Log

By | Charcuterie, Cheese, Chef's Feed, Dairy, Gourmet Cheese, Item of the Day, What Chefs Want

 Wooly Wooly Sheep’s Milk Spreadable Cheese Log

Wooly Woolly is a soft and spreadable sheep’s milk cheese log from Jumilla, Spain. This style of fresh sheep’s milk cheese is quite rare in Spain. The texture is akin to cream cheese, but more pillowy. Its rich, sweet, and mildly sheepy flavor is wonderful on its own, but also works well in any number of cooking applications. Crumble it over salads, stuff into pasta, mix into eggs, or simply enjoy on toast or a bagel to appreciate its unique flavor.

Item 30082 – 5oz Log 

Item of the Day: Vegan Cream Cheese

By | Cheese, Chef's Feed, Dairy, Gluten Free, Item of the Day, Products, Vegan, What Chefs Want

Vegan Cream Cheese

A message from Violife – 

We are a vegan-dedicated community based in the beautiful surroundings of Thessalonica in Greece. We’ve been committed to making amazingly tasting, 100% vegan, non-dairy, non GMO foods since the 90’s, in our production plant in Drama, and we are proud and humbled to be a favourite brand for so many Vegans, Vegetarians and Flexitarians in over 50 countries around the world.

We make great tasting vegan alternative to cheese products, and more… All our 100% Vegan foods are free from: dairy, lactose, GMO, gluten, nuts, soy, preservatives and cholesterol. So, you’re guaranteed allergen-free eating!

Item 28601 – 6.6LB Tub 

Item of the Day: Jalapeno Jack Cheese from Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese

By | Cheese, Chef's Feed, Dairy, Gourmet Cheese, Hors d'oeuvre, Item of the Day, Products, Salads, Southern Foods, What Chefs Want

Jalapeno Jack Cheese from Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese

Origin: Kenny’s (Austin, Kentucky)


Product Details: This monterey jack is speckled with medium-spiced red and green jalapeno peppers, giving just enough spice to the creamy original.


Producer Bio: Kenny’s Farmhouse cheeses are made by hand from raw cows milk – using purebred cows raised with no artificial hormones in Austin, Kentucky.

Item 91898 – 5 lb. block

Item of the Day: Noble Goat Feta Cheese from Noble Springs Dairy

By | Cheese, Chef's Feed, Dairy, Gourmet Cheese, Hors d'oeuvre, Item of the Day, Products, Salads, Southern Foods, What Chefs Want

Noble Goat Feta Cheese from Noble Springs Dairy

Noble Springs Feta is our version of the traditional Greek cheese. Our feta is aged in a brine before being packaged. It has a tangy and salty flavor and is a firm cheese that is great for crumbling. Our Feta is great in a Greek salad with fresh tomatoes, olives and onions, it can be used in a quiche or is a great salty complement to sweet watermelon salad.


From their website: “At Noble Springs Dairy we produce a variety of all natural farmstead goat cheeses. We also bottle and sell Grade A Fluid Goat Milk. Our goats are allowed to browse on our rolling pastures at their leisure. Our cheeses have a distinctive flavor that is due to the forage based diet and special care our animals receive. Here at Noble Springs Dairy, Dustin and Justyne have over 40 combined years of experience in providing exceptional care to dairy goats.” “Quality milk comes from healthy, happy animals. Our high quality milk is the most important ingredient in our cheese making process. All of our products are created at our farm, in our creamery, by us and from only the milk our goats produce. We gently pasteurize our milk in a small vat pasteurizer, this allows us to pasteurize our milk at145 degrees. Our milk is never mechanically homogenized.”

Item 91390 – 2 lb. pack

Item of the Day: Sequatchie Coppinger Cheese

By | Cheese, Chef's Feed, Dairy, Gourmet Cheese, Hors d'oeuvre, Item of the Day, Products, Salads, Southern Foods, What Chefs Want

Sequatchie Coppinger Cheese

A Southern take on the classic French Morbier, Coppinger is a semi-soft washed rind cheese with a striking layer of decorative vegetable ash in its center. The velvety elastic paste is savory with notes of fresh grass and smoked meats, making it ideal for the cheese plate or melted into any dish.


Pairs nicely with fruity lighter bodied reds such as Beaujolais Nouveau, malty ales and stouts, pickled vegetables, and charcuterie. Try it melted on a burger or as the ultimate grilled cheese. 

Item 91166 – 3.5 lb. wheel

Whole Milk from Chaney’s Dairy Barn – Now Stocked in Select Areas!

By | Chef's Feed, Dairy, Farm To Table, Local, What Chefs Want

Now available for next day orders for select areas, Whole Milk from Chaney’s Dairy Barn!

Chaney’s Dairy Barn is a 5th generation family owned dairy farm in Bowling Green, KY with an ice cream store and restaurant, and have over 200,000 visitors to their farm annually. They milk JERSEY cows in a robotic milking machine (basically the cows are milked whenever they decide they want to be) and they produce 100% all jersey milk, all on their farm which is higher in butterfat, solids and calcium and is the best milk you have ever tasted.  The cows truly live in luxury, and they show that by producing such remarkable milk.

Item 23275 – 4/1 Gallon Case

Item 25934 – 1 Gallon each