Posts Tagged ‘Laura Chenel founder’

Laura Chenel Founder of Laura Chenel’s Chèvre – Sonoma, California

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012
image credit: Peter DaSilva for The New York Times

I met Laura Chenel at a food exposition in Texas, where we both were in a booth displaying our products from California in the early 1980’s, when I was President of Cruvinet.  She is the founder of Laura Chenel’s Chèvre in Sonoma, California who established goat cheese in America. I was familiar with her cheese and found it on par or better than many French equivalents.

In 2006, she sold her business to a family-owned French firm, The Rians Group that makes AOC name-controlled (appellation d’origine controlee), French cheeses. They sent two young French women to Sonoma to run the company: Marie Lesoudier as general manager and Isabelle Dion as cheesemaker.

The completion of an all-new and larger creamery has given the Sonoma facility maturing rooms that will allow cheesemaker, Dion to produce more aged goat cheeses, a category of cheese that has not been made in quantity at Laura Chenel until now.

Alhough Laura Chenel sold her goat cheese company, she is keeping the 500 goats at her farm and is selling the milk to her former company.

Letting go physically and psychologically of a company you have owned and founded is never easy, but this sale seems to be a perfect match as both seller and buyer vow not to change the cheese. Outwardly, it seems everything is intact six years on, if the quality of the cheese is any gauge.