Cornes et Sabots, a Cheese Created With Love
We could say that the cheese produced by Cornes et sabots reflects their true values! Behind each product, there’s a lot of hard work, but also a lot of perseverance, determination and passion.
He had worked in the film industry, she for a catering service; together, they owned and operated a restaurant in Vancouver, but neither had thought that one day they would become cheesemakers!
In 2011, Jean-François convinced Nicola to settle in Quebec (he originally comes from here, she, from India). After a year of living in Montreal, they decided to move to Notre-Dame de Stanbridge. Their goal? To become as self-sustainable as possible. They raised chickens, geese, lambs, goats… The goats were first raised for their meat. However, when Nicola and Jean-François discovered that one of the six animals, was a female, the idea of making cheese started to develop in their minds. “We had no experience whatsoever in food transformation,” explains Jean-François. We learned more about the process, we read, and researched the field. “We visited farms, talked with experts, followed classes, built a cheese-making factory…” All in all, Nicola and Jean-François worked very hard to make their dream become a reality.
Their vision was inspired by their affection for their goats, and especially by their desire to produce natural products with as few as possible manipulations, without pesticides, herbicides or GMOs. “We own about thirty goats, soon nearly forty, and they’re free to graze in our pastures as much as they want.” Two donkeys act as the herd’s guardians, all the while ridding the field of certain parasites as they graze closer to the soil than the goats do. They also make sure that the coyotes stay away. We can find a few chickens clucking about in these pastures as well. “This way of doing things is important for us,” says Jean-François. “It’s why we want to continue on a small scale, to preserve our organic livestock.”
For now, the Cornes et Sabots cheese factory offers two products: Raw milk feta and La Corne Pointue, a Chevrotin type cheese, pressed and uncooked, semi firm and with a washed crust. “We started making it because we really liked this type of cheese,” says Jean-François. It’s only later that we learned there was none like this in Quebec.” Next year, the two entrepreneurs will start work to produce a cheddar cheese: Their third creation. Will it be their last? “What we truly enjoy doing is to perfect our products,” says Jean-François, “and to do this by taking our time.” It will therefore be their last, for a while at least!
Although Cornes et Sabots cheeses are quite young, they have already made a name for themselves in the field. For example, we can find them at the Fromagerie Hamel and Fromagerie Atwater in Montreal. Besides the farm boutique, they can also be found at different selling points, such as La Rumeur Affamée in Dunham and the Fromagerie des Cantons in Farnham.
In 2019, there’s a good chance we’ll find the Cornes et Sabots products in our region’s farmers’ markets. Until then? Head out to Dunham on December 15 and 16, to the Marché des Pas Pressés. They’ll certainly make a great gift to offer yourself!