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Made in Michigan: Evergreen Lane Creamery

3:10 PM, Sep 12, 2012   |    comments
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FENNVILLE, Mich. (WZZM) - A lakeshore farm is thriving in the cheese business and all of its natural resources are Michigan-made from the ground up.  At Evergreen Lane Creamery, everything from the grass to the goats is homegrown in West Michigan.

"The milk is a product of the sun and the grass. To me, that's magical," says Cathy Halinski, owner of Evergreen Lane Creamery.  Halinski's business opened in 2008, just as the recession hit.

"Two weeks later our best customer went out of business," says Halinski.

Despite hard times, she was able to expand and even partner with another Michigan business. Herdsman Suzanne Klein is in charge of milking more than 50 goats on her Bangor farm.

"Our collaboration with Evergreen Lane Farm is the only way we could have come up to speed," says Klein.

"Not only do we help ourselves by selling cheese, but we also help the agritourism business," says Halinski.

Halinski showed WZZM 13 the process of turning milk into cheese, starting with pasteurization.

"We add friendly bacteria, almost like a yogurt culture," says Halinski.

The company makes six flavors of cheese, both soft and hard.

"I think our cheese really tastes like the land where it came from and its world class cheese that could compete with any European style," says apprentice Emily Johnston.

"We work with our friends at New Holland Brewing. They use a couple of our cheeses. In Grand Rapids, we work with Reserve and San Chez," says Halinski.

Halinski hopes to have a cheese outlet for every major city in Southwest Michigan. For that she says she'll need more help.

"I have some part time employees that I'm hoping will become full time," says Halinski.

Halinski says she never wants her company to get so big that she loses touch with the animals or that special feeling on her Michigan farm.

Anyone interested in finding locations that sell Evergreen Lane Farm cheese can go to www.evergreenlanefarm.com

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