Originally, her brother, David, made all the cheese boards by hand, but as the business has grown, Leonard has started using sustainably-sourced palm leaf boards.
“My favorite part is being able to tell the story of the cheese,” Leonard said. “With artisan cheeses you can break it down to the time of year, what the animals were fed, and which cheesemaker made it. I think that’s what makes it special. Each board comes with a detailed information sheet and lists the pairings they should try. I want the eating to be an experience. I want it to be something they can sit and bond over. Our boards are hand-crafted, perfectly paired and beautifully done.”
Xanthi Gerasimo, Honors College adviser and women’s rugby coach, said Leonard is a hard worker, eager to learn and enjoyable to be around.
“It did not shock me when Christine chose to return to her family farm,” Gerasimo said. “She loves the land, loves her cows and feels a connection to producing food. I love how she has taken her food science background and used it to innovate new ways for her family farm to make money. She took knowledge from her internship at a cheese factory and her coursework and combined that with her passion for ethical local food and created her amazing business.”
Leonard’s favorite cheese is Lucky Linda Clothbound Cheddar from the Redhead Creamery. It is a smooth, savory cheese. “It is a full sensory experience,” Leonard said. “It is beautiful and is creamy on the palate.”
While at UW-Stout, Leonard participated in a wine and food pairings class. It taught her the subtle taste nuances of pairing cheeses with different foods.
In addition to the boards, Leonard offers on-the-farm or virtual classes teaching participants about different cheeses. Leonard loved the applied learning that UW-Stout offers and carries that into her classes, explaining how all cheese is made from milk, cultures, rennet and salt. “I want people to go into a store and have the whole story behind the cheese they see,” she noted.
Moving into the future, Leonard plans to add a space to offer indoor classes on the farm and by 2030 a creamery that would allow her to milk 15 cows and produce artisan cheeses. She hopes the family farm continues into the next generation and that those sweet dreams are made of cheese.