BEHIND EVERY GREAT CHEESE
there’s a story
Belle Chevre has been making fine goat’s milk cheese products in the tiny town of Elkmont, Alabama for 30 years! We are a passionate company dedicated to using time tested, even ancient, recipes and then putting our own modern spin on them producing some of the best goat cheese products made on the planet. We come from a beautiful history not just from the recipes we use, but from the women makers – from Liz Parnell, Viola Mills and Tasia Malakasis to our current chief cheese, Terry Blakeman. These women and our amazing staff of cheesemakers ensure that the quality and craftsmanship continues to elevate and innovate.
When it all began with a goat dairy and a cheese lover! Liz Parnell, a world-traveler and cheese lover, especially french-style goat’s milk cheeses, was taking a country drive with her granddaughter and happened upon a small goat dairy in Elkmont, Alabama. This interlude grew into a partnership to make their own brand of goat cheese products. The ancient recipe started earning her accolades, awards and placement in the cache cheese shops in the country and even at the White House table!
Tasia Malakasis, an Alabama native, was searching mid-career for a way to follow her passion for food and enrolled in culinary school at the Culinary Institue of America. While in culinary school she happened into the flagship Dean and Deluca (fancy food store!) in Manhattan and was looking at cheeses from all over the globe and found one that said on the label, “made in Elkmont, Alabama”. Surprised to find a product made in her home state and so close to where she grew up in NYC, this started Tasia’s path back home to become a cheesemaker. She came “home”, worked for Liz for free for 6 months and then acquired the business from her in 2007. Viola! A new era was born.
A new look and feel for the brand was created – Tasia wanted Belle Chevre not just in Dean and Deluca but also in every day stores for everyday people. Belle Chevre launched new products including a goat cheese cheesecake that took BEST DESSERT at the World Dairy Innovation Awards, landed on Oprah’s O List, lauded by the NYTimes and more. The product list expanded and so did the distribution. Tasia’s mission was to spread the Belle Chevre gospel – that great products, made by wonderful people, could be available to everyone at every store!
Belle Chevre launches a new line of better-for-you Goat Cheese Spreads that are not only incredibly delicious but good for your body!
Belle Chevre continues its mission to make amazing goat cheese products. Look for us in your favorite store and drop us a line to tell us what you think – we love hearing from you!
Meet Lenny & Lunna, two of the many goats born here at Belle Chevre Creamery. They are now retired to pasture just down the road from our creamery here in Elkmont. Even though we do not milk our goats, they serve as ambassadors for our guests during tours. Come on by for a tour and meet our current goat residents Dumplin’, Litte Bit and twin brothers Starsky & Hutch.