Farm: OakMoon Farm and Creamery
Operator: Cynthia Sharpe and Dwain Swing
Acreage in Production: 12
Production: Goat dairy
Markets: Farmer’s markets and local grocers
OakMoon Farm is the last working dairy in Mitchell County in the mountains of North Carolina. At one time, there were 27 dairy farms in the area. Cynthia Sharpe acquired the land from family in the late 1980s and, because of her love for animals, started to raise goats on the property. The farm is now a 12 acre farm with a goat barn and dairy parlor. Cynthia and her husband Dwain shared a dream of having a creamery to make and sell goat cheeses for a living. They both wanted to work on the farm full time but had to take other jobs to make ends meet and support their five children. They hoped that the creamery would allow them to make a sufficient income from farming.
The couple started OakMoon Creamery in 1998 as a very small endeavor, though it’s now one of the larger goat cheese producers in the state. They began farming and running the creamery full time in 2008, transitioning out of employs hit hard by the economic recession at the time.
In the beginning, they sold mostly to between eight and nine farmer’s markets in the area. They wanted to move toward wholesaling because would allow for greater consistency and predictability. OakMoon now sells cheese to several EarthFare (a regional grocery chain) locations, Mountain Sunshine Farm in Asheville, and Greenlife (another small grocer).
Their cheeses have won many awards and much recognition, including Our State Magazine’s “100 Foods You Must Eat in 100 Counties” and First in the American-Made International-Style amateur category in the 2007 American Dairy Goat Association cheese competition for their Red Oak Boulette.
Video on Oakmoon Farm and Creamery:
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