Debby and Bob Stetson purchased Westfield Farm in 1996 from the Kilmoyer Family who had started the business back in 1980 as a hobby that grew out of hand. The Kilmoyers had earlier sold their herd of goats in preparation for selling the business. They were already buying more milk than they were producing, and figured it would be a far easier job to just teach new owners how to make cheese than deal with all the animal husbandry. Today, Westfield Farm purchases milk from five local goat dairies and one cow dairy.
After the purchase, Debby and Bob moved in with the Kilmoyers and spent sixteen hours a day for four weeks learning all the other ropes. When the Kilmoyers packed up their car and headed south to retirement in the Florida Keys, Bob and Debby stayed behind to make the cheese.
Westfield Farm makes fresh goat cheese (also called chevre), as well as several surface ripened cheeses from both cow and goat milk. But Westfield Farm is best known for its surface ripened blues for which it has few rivals. The Hubbardston Blue and Hubbardston Blue Cow are made in a manner similar to a traditional Camembert, but are inoculated with blue mold (P. Roqueforti), rather than white (P. Candidum). The Classic Blue Log and Bluebonnets are made by inoculating fresh chevre with blue mold and then encouraging the blue rind to develop. No one else makes anything quite like them.
Today, while still enjoying the physical, hands-on process of making the cheese, Bob’s greatest pleasure is hearing directly from consumers who (more often than you might believe) pick up the phone and call to say how much they enjoy his products. Bob knew he would enjoy making something that people appreciated, but never realized how much pleasure he’d derive from making something people loved.
Their cheeses, all from pasteurized goat or cow’s milk, are:
- Capri Fresh, goat chevre, in flavors: Plain, Pepper, Herb, Herb Garlic, Hickory Smoked, Chocolate, Chive, Wasabi, Calabrini, Pink Peppercorn, Cranberry-Orange
- Hubbardston Blue, a surface ripened blue cheese from cow’s milk, aged three weeks
- Camembert, from cow’s milk, aged three weeks
- Baby Camembert, a smaller format from cow’s milk, aged three weeks
- Classic Blue, a surface ripened blue cheese from goat milk, aged two weeks
- White Buck, a white bloomy rind goat’s milk cheese, aged three weeks
- Hubbardston Blue (goat), surface ripened, aged three weeks
- Bluebonnet, a surface ripened blue goat’s milk cheese, aged two weeks
- Feta Capri, Greek style, from goat’s milk, aged one month
- Ayshire Farmer’s Cheese, Chevre-style, but from cow’s milk
Awards: ACS (51 times including twice as Best of Show), US Championship (two times) AGDPA (6 times including Best of Show)
Westfield Farm is open for store sales and casual tours from 8AM to 5PM pretty much every day. Appointments are encouraged.