Friday, April 24, 2009

Bobolink Dairy: A Conversation with Nina White

Nina White, who along with her husband, Jonathan, founded Bobolink Dairy earlier this decade, makes cheeses that are bold and powerful. Derived from raw milk from grass-fed cows and devoid of hormones, antibiotics and pesticides, Bobolink cheese is also one of the healthiest foods you can eat.

At first, most of White’s customers didn’t know the significance of the terms “raw milk” and “grass-fed.” As the good food movement has gained momentum, though, there has been a discernible increase in the public’s awareness of the issues associated with a healthier food supply.

“I now spend half the time I used to explaining the product,” White said. “Thank you, Michael Pollan; thank you, Marion Nestle; thank you, Barbara Kingsolver,” White said, naming three stalwarts of the quality food crusade.

“It’s pleasing because we are fortunate enough to be producing a product that journalists and writers have been educating the public about,” White said.

Business remains brisk, despite prices ($20 to $24 per pound) that some think high. (I am in the group that believes Bobolink cheese to be one of the best bargains in New York.)

“We are selling everything we make,” White said. “[Our customers] absolutely see the value of the product.”

The Whites currently rent 200 acres in Vernon, NJ (about 55 miles from midtown Manhattan), but are hoping to buy 160 acres. They are in the cheese business for the long haul and hope others join them and their three dozen cows.

“[The goal is] to continue to prove the model so it will be appealing for others to replicate,” White said.

The more great cheese, the better.

1 comment:

Lori said...

looking forward to a visit to boblink today; thanks for the info!