Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to our most asked questions.

FAQ

Dairy

Do you sell butter or cream?

Unfortunately no - we don't currently have the space or equipment needed for those products but if that changes you'll be the first to know!

We do however sell cream-top pasteurized whole milk, which you can read more about here.

Can I access your milk dispenser when the store is closed?

Our milk dispenser hours are 7am-6pm every day. However, if you come outside of store hours you will need your own clean bottles, lids, and exact change.

For more information, visit our Milk page.

Do you sell cheesemaking supplies?

We do not sell individual cheesemaking ingredients but we do sell wonderful cheesemaking kits by Canadian company, makecheese.ca. These kits contain microbial cultures, rennet tablets, and everything else you need (minus milk) to start making cheese at home.

Is your cheese vegetarian?

We do not use any animal rennet in our cheese - instead we use a synthetic alternative that appears on our label as "enzyme". That means all but one of our cheeses are vegetarian. The one exception is our Feta (and Sunshine Feta) which does contain an enzyme called lipase derived from sheep.

Is your cheese gluten free?

Basically yes.

However, in every batch (1600L) of Bleu Claire we put in approx 30ml of blue cheese mould. This mould is propagated in wheat nutrient and then chemically extracted so that the final product does not contain levels of gluten required for an allergen warning.

Do you ship your cheese?

No, we don't ship cheese. Our cheese is distributed throughout BC, check our list of retailers to find one near you!

Is your cheese safe to eat while pregnant?

Typically, health warnings for pregnant women are concerned with soft, raw-milk cheeses. This is relevant in Europe and some American States where these kinds of products are permitted. The rationale here is that, in a high-moisture, low-acid, low-salt environment, any pathogens potentially present in raw milk could multiply to toxic levels. That is why soft cheeses are not permitted to be made with raw milk in Canada.

The only raw milk cheeses allowed in Canada are hard cheeses that are aged for minimum 60 days. These tend to be higher in lactic acid, dryer, and saltier, which, combined with a lengthy aging process makes the likelihood of pathogenic growth extremely low.

Most of our cheeses are pasteurized, just like virtually all the cheese in your local grocery store, therefore, are considered very safe to consume for immune-compromised individuals and pregnant women. We make several raw-milk cheeses as well (Caerphilly, Mt. Moriarty, Old Smokey) and these all conform to the Canadian policies surrounding raw cheese production and are aged well beyond the minimum 60 days. Additionally, our cheeses are tested regularly throughout the production and aging process to ensure the highest quality.

Having said all that, we are not health professionals and can only speak to this issue from a dairy processing and food science perspective. If you have additional concerns about which foods to avoid during pregnancy, speak to your physician or midwife.

How should I care for my cheese?

Your cheese is happy wrapped tightly in the fridge until you’re ready to eat it. Serve fresh cheese, like Fromage Frais cold. For most other cheeses, unwrap a few minutes before serving to allow it to warm up slightly which activates the subtle flavours. Cheese can be resealed in a glass container or wrapped in parchment paper or beeswax wraps.

How long does cheese last?

Our cheeses vary in shelf-life from a week to several months. For most hard cheeses, the Best Before date is really just a guide to optimum flavour, as the cheese doesn’t suddenly go bad at that date. Optimum flavour is a matter of personal taste and culture. The French, for instance, like their brie quite ripe, with a runny center. Some Canadians may find that too strong for their taste - It's up to you! Fresh cheeses, however, should be consumed by the Best Before date for best flavour.

Regardless of the best before date, once a package is opened and exposed to air, the cheese should be consumed within 3-5 days or small spots of mould may develop.

Can I buy your cheese wholesale?

If you are buying for a restaurant or store, you can email us about purchasing through one of our excellent distributors.

For all sales inquires please email sales@cheeseworks.ca or visit our wholesale resources page for more information.

Do you make cheese from goat or sheep milk?

No. Our farm produces, sells, and uses only cows milk.

Can I freeze cheese?

Technically, yes - but the answer is a little more complicated than that.

When hard cheeses have been frozen, they become crumbly as they break apart at the curds. This isn't ideal for serving cheese fresh - but if you intend to melt or bake the cheese in a dish, then freezing it is just fine.

The cheeses best suited or freezer storage are varieties like Feta, which already have a crumbly texture to them. You won't even notice the difference once it's thawed!

FAQ

Farm

Do you sell manure?

No, we use all our cows' manure to fertilize our own fields.

Do you use any pesticides or herbicides on your crops?

No. While we do feed some conventional grain to supplement our cows' diet, we do not use any pesticides or herbicides on our own fields.

Do you practice biodiversity?

We do our best to cultivate biodiversity on our farm by leaving large areas of protected forests, creeks, and ponds. Our farm is home to thousands of year-round and migratory birds and water foul, mule deer, rabbits, beavers, river otters, mink, muskrats, and more. We also choose to grow permanent pasture rather than annual crops to increase soil health, microbial biodiversity, carbon sequestration and water retention.

Do you feed palm products to your cows?

No, we do not feed any palm fat or other palm byproducts to our cows. The bulk of of our cows' diet is made up of grass from our own fields and supplemented with alfalfa hay and a selection of grains chosen by our nutritionist specifically to meet our cows' nutritional needs.

Do you use any antibiotics?

We rarely use antibiotics and only when prescribed by our vet to treat an infection. The milk from a cow being treated is withheld for several days after the treatment course to ensure no antibiotics enter the milk supply, as is required by law on all Canadian dairy farms.

FAQ

Visiting

What is there to do?

1. Meet our animals; we have cows, calves, sheep, goats, and rabbits. You can go right into the rabbit hutch, and during the summer, right into the "kritter korner" where our sheep and goat friends hang out.

2. Watch the cheesemakers working (and dancing) through the windows on the cheeseplant next to the store

3. Check out our "Mooseum", our old milking parlour, where you can see some vintage dairy equipment, photos, videos about our cheese, and watch the livestream of our cows in the robotic milker.

4. Pick up your favourite cheeses and a farm-fresh latte in our farmgate store and browse the wide range of other local food items, kitchen ware, decor, and toys.

Do I have to call before visiting?

No, just come when we're open, check out our self-guided tour map and explore the farm yourself. Guided tours may be booked in advance.

Can I bring my dog?

Yes, you are welcome to bring your friendly, leashed dog around the outdoor areas of our farm. Please note, we have one unleashed farm dog on the property.

Is there an admission fee?

Nope - our whole farm is available to visit, with the help of a self-guided tour map, for free whenever we are open.

Still looking for an answer?

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