Shy Brothers Farm began making their first cheeses in 2007, using only their own milk from their herd of 120 Holstein, Ayrshire and Jersey cows.
The four Santos brothers, Karl, Kevin, Arthur, and Norman are the “shy brothers,” and their friends Barbara Hanley and Leo Brooks help them run the cheese company. Karl Santos is the youngest of the two sets of twins, all born and raised on their third-generation dairy farm in Westport. Several times a week, he hauls the milk from the farm, seven miles over back roads, to their cheese house in neighboring Dartmouth to make the cheese. Karl is the cheesemaker, a natural, while Kevin, Arthur and Norman manage and milk the herd.
Karl and Barbara helped start the Agricultural Commission in Westport, and Karl serves on the town’s Board of Health. Both believe strongly in giving back.
The cows graze on a hilltop farm between the two branches of the Westport River, about four miles from the Atlantic, so frequently, the farm is shrouded in fog and is always bathed by salt air. The warming Gulf Stream is close by, so the milkers can stay at pasture much longer than most New England herds.
Karl’s cheeses are all made from his freshly pasteurized milk:
- Hannahbells®, ¼ oz thimble-size and shape, individually-molded bloomy rind lactic cheeses, aged 5 days, in these varieties: classic French, Shallot, Lavender Bud, Rosemary, Chipotle in the summertime.
- Cloumage®, a lactic curd used as a spread or as an ingredient.
- Mozzarella curd, unstretched.
Awards: Big E (4 times), ACS (3 times), International (1 time)
Shy Brothers Farm is not open to the public; however, private tours for food professionals are available by appointment.