Haystack founder Jim Schott became interested in goats in 1989, and Jim doesn’t do anything halfway.
In the beginning, there were five goats on his seven-acre farm. Those five grew to 125 as Jim was busy experimenting with fresh goat cheese. Blessed with a superb palate and unquenchable passion, Jim’s magnificent obsession became the foundation for Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy–one of the first and oldest artisanal goat cheese producers in our country.
Haystack introduced its first Boulder Chèvre in 1991, and has been winning awards and consumer taste tests every year since. Despite increased competition, Haystack’s distribution continues to grow.
First there was fresh chèvre, pure and simple.
Then we added herb-coated, marinated and smoked varieties, plus a delicate feta. These cheeses developed a loyal following through sales at the farmstead store, local farmer’s markets, Whole Foods Markets and other local than national retail stores.
Our first aged cheese was the Haystack Peak, a bloomy-rind pyramid that continues to be one of our bestsellers and was named one of the 50 best American artisanal cheeses by Saveur magazine.
We experimented with aged raw-milk cheeses, aged washed-rind cheeses and additional fresh-ripened cheeses in 2003. Over the next three years, our highly regarded Queso de Mano, Snowdrop, Sunlight and Red Cloud debuted to outstanding reviews. We also began making Buttercup, a mixed cow-and goat-milk cheese.
In 2003 demand outgrew cheese making capacity and milk requirements pushed the edges of Boulder’s animal per-acre mandate. So Haystack added a creamery in Longmont, a 2500 square- foot facility with two aging rooms and started buying milk from Lucky 7 Ranch in Strasburg, CO. In 2005, we expanded again by doubling the size of the creamery to 5,000 square-feet including two more aging rooms and a freezer.
In 2009 and 2010, we brought out three new cheeses: the bloomy-rind Aspen Ash, a goat Camembert, which won a top award at the World Cheese Awards, and a Chile Jack originally made exclusively for Whole Foods Markets’ Rocky Mountain stores.
Our experiments with new cheeses never cease. Come see us at our Creamery, so you can taste what all the fuss is about. See you soon.