Samantha Genke and her brother Austin dreamed of starting a business that could engage their whole family. They wanted to promote small farming and local foods. They are now achieving that dream with Boxcarr Handmade Cheese.
Samantha lived in Orange County, where she made cheese for a decade at local dairies, including Goat Lady Dairy and Chapel Hill Creamery. Austin graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in upstate NY and worked for world-renowned chefs in both NY and Las Vegas. Austin and his wife, Dani, dreamed of a different kind of restaurant: one that used fresh produce from local farms. In 2009, the Genkes bought 30 acres in Cedar Grove with an 18th century farmhouse and a pond and christened it Boxcarr Farms. They began farming, selling at the farmer’s market, and running a food truck and catering business that used their own produce as well as that of neighboring farms. They raised goats with the intention of someday using the milk for cheese.
In 2014, the Genkes built a 2,900 square foot cheese-making facility on the hillside overlooking the farm. They decided initially to focus on making the cheese, so they arranged to source milk from other small farms: Jersey and Holstein cow’s milk from a long-time neighbor and Alpine, Nubian, and Sannen goat’s milk from a friend’s farm. Local cheese-maker Alessandra Trompeo joined Samantha in the cheeseroom, where they spent months experimenting and taste-testing. The two women traveled to northern Italy, Alessandra’s birthplace, to study styles of cheese. The result is unique handmade cheeses inspired by the small country farmsteads of Italy.
Read more about Boxcarr Handmade Cheese at their website, http://boxcarrhandmadecheese.com/.