Updates & Blog

Posted 4/27/2015 8:30am by Kevin & Kristyn Henslee.


Happy Spring time from Yellow House Cheese!


We are currently at 2 farmers markets: Shaker Square on Saturday morning from 8-Noon. And the Tremont Farmer's Market on Tuesday afternoons from 4-7pm. Lamb, pork, chicken and of course CHEESE will be available. 

 


 

      

Freezer Pork:  It’s time to stock up on pork for your summer grilling and cook outs. Having pork chops, brats, ribs, pork steaks and roasts for pulled pork already in the freezer makes dinner decisions easy, quick and convenient.  Pork will be custom processed into cuts and sizes you want. If you’re not sure what you want or haven’t bought your meat this way before we’ll be happy to walk you through it. Think you can’t take a whole half? Talk with your neighbors, friends and family and divide one up among the group. Whole or half whey fed hogs are ready to go in a month.  Message or call/text Kevin for details 330-990-7821. 

 


 

Looking for Freezer Beef? We often are asked if we raise beef, and sadly I always tell you no. Luckily a friend of mine is now taking reservations for freezer beef. Check it out and call to find out more information. Know your farmer. Wildwood Legacy Farms

 

 

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Posted 1/16/2015 2:05pm by Kevin & Kristyn Henslee.

    

Thank you for all of your support in 2014

and here's looking ahead to 2015.

This Tuesday, January 20th is National Cheese Lovers Day.

It's true. I fact-checked on Google. If you are missing your Yellow House Cheese, you can find us out at the North Union Shaker Square Indoor Farmer's Market this Saturday morning from 9am-Noon. It's a great market filled with lovely produce, meats, salsas, cheeses, honey, art and more. Come out and explore Shaker Square and visit with us at the market this weekend. We will continue to be at the Shaker Market all winter long.


 

    

We are looking for your feedback about our meat sales.

Yellow House is looking to increase our meat sales for 2015. We are still offering our lamb, chicken and whey fed pork at market but are also considering a few other buying options. Our thoughts so far are centered around a CSA model or a meat bundle option. As we move closer to market season, we could really use some feedback. Survey results will help us plan for how many animals to raise and types of products that you, the customer, are interested in. Could you please spare a minute or two (no more I promise) and take this quick survey about our meat sales? If you have a friend who may be interested in our products, feel free to share. If you have any other thoughts, you can always shoot an email over to us at cheese@yellowhousecheese.com

Click this link for the survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/7LGGR2X


Stay warm this winter and prepare yourself for lambing time. Cute photos to follow.


Social Much? Like/Follow/Find Us: 
           
 
As always you can find us on Twitter @YHC_YellowHouse, PinterestInstagram and Facebook
 
 

Posted 9/5/2014 8:29am by Kevin & Kristyn Henslee.


Hello from the farm.


It's time to order your freezer lamb. Whole lambs only this year, no halves unless you split it up with someone you know. Cost is $4.35 per pound plus $100 paid to the butcher for processing. Average carcass weight is 50-60 pounds.

Why get a lamb for the freezer?

  • Know your farmer, know your food.
  • Tasty, local, safe meat all winter and spring long.
  • Meat cut to your specific order: size, packaging, roast cuts, all of it how you want. Our butcher is awesome and will walk you through ordering over the phone. They couldn't be more amazing.
  • Cost savings. Think about buying two leg roasts from the super market or butcher shop. For a little more you can also get all the roasts, lamb chops, ground lamb and stew meat.
  • It's not that much to fit into a freezer-- just a little more than a ream of paper box.
  • No waiting at the market for the cut you want, how you want. It will be in your freezer!
  • You know it has lived a happy, healthy life at the Henslee farm.

 

I need to have reservations in by September 14th. Lambs will be ready to pick up roughly from the end of September to mid-October. It's possible to for us to deliver your lambs to you at farmer's market, but we'll all have to plan ahead.

 

Think about it and get back to us if you are interested. Email cheese@yellowhousecheese.com 


 

No Shaker Square Market for us this week. Enjoy the Garlic Festival.
See you all at Medina, Howe Meadow and Chagrin this week.

 

Thanks for all of your support!

Posted 8/22/2014 2:06pm by Kevin & Kristyn Henslee.

I know it’s been a while since I last checked in. Always busy around here. But I wanted to check in and share some of our farm with you, so here it goes…

 

We took a third place in our category at the American Cheese Society Awards this year. The event was held in Sacramento, California this year. The competition drew over 1,685 cheeses from 248 cheese makers. Ohio’s Mackenzie Creamery also won third place for fresh flavored goat cheese. A full listing of winners is here. If you completely love cheese, next year’s event will be in Providence, Rhode Island. Want to keep it more local? Think about supporting the Ohio Cheese Guild.


Yellow House Cheese can now be found at Cleveland area Heinen’s stores! You should be able to find both Wooster Pike and Yellow House Blue. They recently posted about us in their blog post. We have been extra busy in the make room all summer ramping up production. We also have a few more new retailers coming up. I’ll let you know more as first deliveries are made.


 

If you haven’t seen the farmer articles in the New York Times and the reply in the Huffington Post in the last week, these two articles are worth the read.

 

Don't Let Your Children Grow Up To Be Farmers

Let Your Children Grow Up To Be Farmers

Here’s my take on those two articles.

I love being a family farmer. I am proud of what we do. We are fortunate that my husband has a great off-farm job. I get nervous that I push my kids to do too many chores. I don’t want them growing up to hate the farm life.

We are relatively new farmers. We’ve been making cheese for only three years now. While I have learned much, I have much more to learn. We have really great customers and have built solid relationships with chefs, restaurants and retailers. Life around the farm is hard work. And the work is never done. I’m not sure that everyone understands the lifetime commitment that we have made to this farm and business.

I get really frustrated when people under value what we do. Three weeks ago I received a request from a major player in the cheese world to send out samples and a price list. I was excited for the opportunity. So I packed up the cheeses, included the list and sent them out. A week later I received an email back with positive feedback on my cheeses and interest from this retailer on carrying my cheese. Taking this on would be huge for us, but I am telling you I was super excited.

Then came the conversation about pricing. I was asked to lower my prices. Because according to the retailer, although my cheeses were of high quality, my prices were going to be too high using the traditional retail mark-up equation. The retailer said if I would lower my prices, we could make a deal. I kindly asked if they could renegotiate their costs and lower their mark-up margins. That didn’t seem to go over so well. The retailer said their costs were fixed by contracts and could not be adjusted. I explained my costs were also fixed and I wasn’t moving off my prices.

I was pretty disappointed that the deal fell through, but I can’t screw myself in the long run for others to make a higher profit.

We are making payments around here, not profits.

Like I said, we are new and I am patient, but when dealing with others who say they understand where the farmer is coming from, I call bull shit.

Another distributor pleaded with me on the phone to lower my prices because he had to make sales calls and schedule lunch meetings. I asked him if he thought his job was harder than mine.    Cue the crickets.   Then I asked why he thought he deserved to get paid, but requested that I lower my prices. That conversation sure ended quickly.

So bringing it back to the articles, I love what I do. I love the circle of life on this farm. I love feeding you all tasty cheeses, lamb, pork and chicken. I believe that I’ll get back from this world what I put into it. The fact is right now we’re not making any money; fortunately we are able to keep paying on our investments on the business and the farm. I look at it as a marathon and not as a sprint. Just know that when you go to a farmer’s market, local restaurant or retailer, shopping and spending local makes a difference. A huge difference. This week I was able to pay to put tires on the car so I could safely drive to market. This week the girls started fall soccer practice. That’s where your money is going when you shop at market—to our family and others just like us. Thank you.

Know your farmer, keep supporting the cause and saying thank you to your farmer  goes a long way.


 

Learn more about other Ohio cheese makers in this article from Crave Columbus. It gives more insight on what it is really like to be a farmer and cheese maker in Ohio. My favorite quote,

“We’re going to do what’s right, even if it’s detrimental to the bottom line,” says Nick, the carrot-topped and engineer-minded patriarch of the large family. (Personable and friendly Celeste is his direct counterpart with a hippie-meets-farmer-meets-mom cool.) “We make all our decisions at the dining room table, not the board room table. That makes us hard to compete with.”


 

Markets this week:

  • No Medina Market for us-- you can go enjoy the International Festival.
  • Shaker Square Saturday 8-Noon.
  • Howe Meadow in Akron Saturday from 9-Noon
  • Chagrin Falls on Sundays from 10-1.

Just added at market: Whey-fed pork. Available in select cuts of chops, steaks, sausages and roasts.

Coming up: Freezer lambs available starting September 20th. Price is $4.35 per pound plus $100 processing fee to the butcher. Average weight on freezer lamb is 60 pounds to give you a rough estimate on price.

      


 

 

 

 

 

Fair round up

I am so proud of my girls. Corinne and Ellen had a very successful 2014 Medina County Fair. They showed chickens, ducks, turkeys, pigs, goats and cows. They also competed in the lamb carcass competition. Ellen won 4th and Corinne won 8th.

The highlight of the week was the unplanned participation in the Duck Race. The finals pitted Corinne versus Ellen. Ellen pulled out the win for the trophy but it was honestly a hoot. They won lots of ribbons and had a great time. Love those girls.

Here are some pictures from the week.

                    




Posted 7/11/2014 11:34am by Kevin & Kristyn Henslee.

Overwhelmed with pride from all the love.

If you didn't get a chance to catch the article in this week's Cleveland Scene Magazine, we  are featured in the 2014 Cleveland People edition with 30 folks who make Cleveland a great place to live. Here is the link, http://www.clevescene.com/cleveland/the-cheesemongers-kristyn-and-kevin-henslee/Content?oid=4337122

I'm not going to lie, when I first got the call I thought someone was playing a joke on us. I don't consider ourselves to be as fascinating as All-Star Michael Brantley. But, it is nice to be recognized. Thank you again for all of the support. I hope to see you all at market this week!


Farmer's Markets this week

 

Come out and visit Medina! The Medina Farmer’s Market runs from 9-1.

Shaker Square market continues on Saturdays from 8-Noon.

Countryside Conservancy at Howe Meadow market on Saturdays from 9-Noon.

We will return to the Chagrin Falls market on Sunday July 20.

 


 

Social Much? Like/Follow/Find Us: 

           
As always you can find us on Twitter @YHC_YellowHouse, PinterestInstagram and Facebook

Posted 5/29/2014 11:40am by Kevin & Kristyn Henslee.


Medina Market Starts this Week!

 

Come out and visit Medina! The Medina Farmer’s Market starts this Saturday, May 31 from 9-1. We can't wait to see all of our local customers! 

Shaker Square market continues on Saturdays from 8-Noon.

Countryside Conservancy at Howe Meadow market on Saturdays from 9-Noon.

We will return to the Chagrin Falls market on Sundays starting June 8.

Please come out and visit us at all of the markets. Reminder that store hours at the farm will be on Thursdays from 6-8pm starting June 5th.

 


 

Make Your Reservations Now!

Announcing our first Plated Landscape Dinner with Spice of Life Catering Company. This is your chance to come have a five course catered meal on the farm. The dinner will feature all of our cheeses, lamb and chicken. If you have never dined at Spice Kitchen & Bar or attended one of their catering events, trust me—it’s going to be fantastic. More information can be found by clicking here. Reservations are filling quickly and are required for this event. 


 

Social Much? Like/Follow/Find Us: 

           
As always you can find us on Twitter @YHC_YellowHouse, PinterestInstagram and Facebook

Posted 5/22/2014 10:23am by Kevin & Kristyn Henslee.


Hello Spring! Yellow House Cheese has been busy, busy, busy!!

Well, lambing is all finished at the farm. And I’m not going to lie… I start off taking perfect records, moms, dads, sisters, brothers, dates, weights, all things important, but by the end of lambing I’m like, “Yep—it’s a lamb.” So my best guess is that we birthed nearly 150 lambs. Some were sold for the Easter market (aka cash flow) and the rest are being raised as replacements and market lambs. Of course the girls have a few lambs that they are raising for 4-H as well. With all those lambs flows all that milk. I’m milking about 50 ewes and making cheese 3-4 times per week. To say that it’s busy around here is a vast understatement. I milk around 6 and 6 and the girls get up before school to do their chores. They feed the three bottle lambs, chickens, ducks and 4-H turkeys. They also have pigs and pheasants they take care of after school. Between school, chores, soccer and helping with milking, they are giggling and fighting with each other.


 

Announcing our first Plated Landscape Dinner with Spice of Life Catering Company. This is your chance to come have a five course catered meal on the farm. The dinner will feature all of our cheeses, lamb and chicken. If you have never dined at Spice Kitchen & Bar or attended one of their catering events, trust me—it’s going to be fantastic. More information can be found by clicking here. Reservations are filling quickly and are required for this event. 


 

We will be doing four markets this season, and I can’t wait to get out and see all of our fun customers again. We are currently at Shaker Square market on Saturdays from 8-Noon. Countryside Conservancy market on Saturdays from 9-Noon. We will start at Medina Farmer’s Market on Saturday, May 31 from 9-1 and finally we will return to the Chagrin Falls market on Sundays starting in June. Please come out and visit us at all of the markets. Each market has a different feel with unique vendors. It really makes a difference to farmers and artists when you choose to shop local. Let me know if you are looking for a specific product or food, I’d love to recommend one of our friends.   


For those of you who can’t make it to market, Ellen (my soon to be 9-year-old daughter) has decided to have store hours at the farm on Thursdays from 6-8pm. Chickens, lamb and cheese will be available for purchase at the farm. If you get there at just the right time, you might be able to catch some sheep milking action too. Store hours will begin on June 5th.


         

This year we are adding a few different products to the market line up. As always we will have our signature, farmstead Yellow House Blue sheep’s milk cheese. This flavorful blue cheese won a 2013 American Cheese Society award. Sophisticated and full of flavor, this is a really great blue. Yellow House Blue will be ready at the beginning of June. Wooster Pike, our fan favorite cow’s milk blue cheese will be in full production through the summer. Sunshine Gold, which is the former ‘Market Special’ will be back at markets this year. I have limited availability, but what is made is super tasty. Announcing our newest cheese, Kendall, a mixed milk sheep and cow blend, bloomy rind cheese. It’s kind of like a camembert/brie style that is smooth, subtle and creamy. Because I only have one aging space, I am getting a little bluing along with the fluffy white mold you would expect on a bloomy rind cheese. The inside is not blue So for all of you who keep asking for a non-blue cheese, here is your chance. Wheels and slices will be available at our first markets of the season. So get a bottle of wine, gather some friends and enjoy all of Yellow House’s yummy cheeses this summer.

We are also still bringing lamb to market as it is available, most likely being in full production in early July. We are happy to be bringing whey-fed pork to market this year, as well as the girl’s pasture raised, whole chickens. If you are interested in chickens, please call ahead and place your order so I know to bring enough to market. We have around five available now and 50 will be available in six weeks. If you have had our chicken, I know you are a fan, if you haven’t had it yet, you are really missing out.

 


Can’t wait to see you all out at market! It’s going to be a great year!

Thank you for all of your support.  


 

           
As always you can find us on Twitter @YHC_YellowHouse, PinterestInstagramand Facebook

Posted 5/16/2014 7:25am by Kevin & Kristyn Henslee.
Weekend Market Update: Yellow House Cheese will not be attending the Shaker Market this week. We will be back next week with our tasty cheeses. We will be at the Countryside Conservancy market. But please note that Howe Meadow is flooded and we will be inside at Old Trail School. See you on Saturday in Akron.
 
Click here for the Countryside newsletter.
 
I will get you all a full newsletter next week.
I noticed it's been a while. To say we've been busy is an understatement...
Posted 2/21/2014 8:45am by Kevin & Kristyn Henslee.

Well, it's that time of year again. Time to snuggle sweet baby lambs. We are about a week into lambing and have 20 lambs from 10 ewes. Only about 90 more ewes to go... Everything is going well and the lambs are soooo cute. We bred some of our flock to a meat ram so we are getting some very interesting color combinations of white, black, speckled and gray. I don't have very many cute pictures to post, but if you want to catch what is going on around the farm follow us on instagram for the best pics.


      



Farmer's Market

Kevin will be out at the Shaker Farmer's Market on Saturday from 9-Noon with Wooster Pike, King's Castle, ground lamb and whole roasting chickens. Kristyn will be at Old Trail School from 10-1 with all of the same yummy meats and cheeses.

We are planning on attending three markets this summer-- Shaker Square, Medina, and the Countryside Conservancy Howe Meadow market all on Saturday mornings. I am also planning on making store hours at the farm one night a week for those of you who just can't find us out during the weekends. 

 

Farm Haiku

Ram lamb or ewe lamb

Single, twins, triplets or quads

Anxious lamb mom waits

 

4-H for You?

It's time to join 4-H if you are 9-18 years old. Check with your local county extension agent to find a nearby club. 4-H is a really great organization for kids. Many projects to choose from and tons of learning opportunities. Learn more at http://www.ohio4h.org/

 

A business that I love:

I love Ohio Cheesemakers. We are some pretty fun folk. If you haven't already, check out Lake Erie Creamery. Brian makes some really interesting and flavor packed, cheesy goodness. He will be out at Old Trail School this weekend if you would like to try his cheeses. Check out the website at http://www.lakeeriecreamery.com/

 

 

           
As always you can find us on Twitter @YHC_YellowHouse, PinterestInstagramand Facebook

Posted 2/7/2014 11:55am by Kevin & Kristyn Henslee.


Well, it's still freezing out. Below freezing--- way below freezing. I love the winter, I love the snow, I love the frozen ground--- wind chills in the negatives? Not so much. Ewes are braving the weather quite nicely. We did not have the sheep shorn before lambing this year. It's just too cold for me. This will be the first time we didn't shear before lambing, we'll see how that will work out.

Nobody has had a baby yet, I am guessing that we should start seeing lambs later this weekend. Let's hope they are just not all waiting for the coldest night.

 

Nothing says I love you like a nice bottle of wine and some great, local cheese for Valentine's Day. Get yourself out to market on Saturday to get ahead of the crowd. Cheese is tasty this week and both Wooster Pike and Market Special will be available.

 

Speaking of Market Special-- it started out as our accident cheese. It is our Wooster Pike recipe that we forgot to poke, and therefore did not blue. But it's still way tasty. Well now customers are loving it and we need a new name. Market Special is just not cutting it for us. I am taking suggestions for a new name. If you are the creative type and love the YHC, please submit some cheese names to us.

 

Sad news: we are sold out of lamb chops and shanks. Good news: Plenty of ground lamb is left for winter comfort foods. Check out our Pinterest page or tasty recipes from the American Lamb Board. It is Lamb Lovers Month, you know.

 

Kevin will be at the Shaker Market and Kristyn will be at Old Trail School this Saturday. Ground lamb, cheese and whole chickens will be available. The Wooster Pike that is ready right now is really great. Get out tomorrow morning and get some. All of our sheep’s milk cheese is sold out until June. 

 

We had some t-shirts made up. They are awesome, $14 and will be for sale at market this weekend. Represent!


 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
            
As always you can find us on Twitter @YHC_YellowHouse, PinterestInstagramand Facebook