The Cypress Grove creamery is nestled on an 18-acre parcel of land — one of the last open tracts within the Arcata city limits, in Humboldt County, California.

The creamery produces a range of soft and soft ripened cheeses, and two hard cheeses, Midnight Moon and Lamb Chopper, that are produced in Holland by master Dutch cheese-makers.

Keeping the goats healthy is top priority, we milk the goats twice a day, and play classical music to keep them calm.

Mary Keehn, Cypress Grove Creamery

Founder of Cypress Grove Dairy Mary Keehn, a self-proclaimed “serious hippie” and single mother of four, started to breed goats as a self-sufficient way of producing milk for her four daughters after noticing her neighbour has some for bush control. After asking her if she could buy two, the neighbour replied “Honey, if you can catch ‘em, you can have ‘em.” Determined Mary lured her first two goats and named them Esmeralda and Hazel. Soon those two goats multiplied, and pretty soon Mary had a surplus of milk, so she decided to try her hand at making cheese.

“From there I started breeding and, before I knew it, was awash in milk. I hate waste, so I started making cheese on my little stove. At the beginning, I gave the cheese away but, eventually, people started to pay for it’.

Cypress Grove was launched in 1983 when two local restaurant owners told Mary that if she became “legit” they would buy her cheese so Mary travelled to France to learn everything she could about the cheesemaking process. As she slept on the return long transatlantic flight home to Humboldt County, a prophetic vision danced across Mary’s imagination. She awoke with a clear image of a new kind of cheese: a cheese accented with a thick line of ash reminiscent of the fog often blanketing the expansive Humboldt County coastline — and the idea of Humboldt Fog® was born.

Many cheeses have followed, including a range of soft-ripened, fresh and aged cheeses.

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