Sonoma-based creamery 'Laura Chenel' produces goat cheese goodness

ByJanel Andronico Localish logo
Monday, March 25, 2024
Sample goat cheese goodness at this award-winning creamery
Here's how the Sonoma-based creamery Laura Chenel started a new chapter in American goat cheese.This award-winning, Sonoma-based creamery started with one woman and one goat.

SONOMA COUNTY, Calif. -- This award-winning, Sonoma-based creamery started with just one woman and one goat.

Laura Chenel transformed her humble beginnings into a successful creamery which effectively began a new chapter in American goat cheese.

"Over the last 40 years, it's been really exciting to see it grow to a place where we are delivering cheeses all over the country," shared Durae Hardy, the Brand Manager at Laura Chenel. "We love being able to share a taste of our home."

In 1979, Laura Chanel started making cheese at her home in Sonoma County and was selling the product at farmers markets.

"The eight ounce chèvre is really the cheese that put Laura Chanel on the map when she was discovered at a farmers market by Alice Waters," expressed Hardy. "Since then, we've expanded our range into all kinds of flavored and aged cheeses."

The Laura Chanel creamery handcrafts artisanal goat cheeses using traditional French techniques and sourcing milk from local family farms. The flavored goat cheeses offered range from classic garlic and chive to zesty mango habanero.

"We process goat's milk supplied by our producers located in the western region...of the United States," said Francois Challet, the Plant Manager at Laura Chenel. "We process usually...between one and three days after making the cheeses, so no aging here, (just) pure fresh goat cheese processed in Sonoma."

A commitment to sustainability is at the forefront of the company.

"We are the first Creamery in the United States to be LEED Gold certified," said Challet. "We installed more than 100 solar panels on the roof to produce our own electricity."

"It's important for us to be good stewards of the land," Hardy added. "We pride ourselves in really attending to the past and maintaining those standards of care and quality and craftsmanship, but always with an eye to the's a very important part of our business."

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