Belle Chevre Breaks Ground on New Artisan Creamery and Tourism Destination

Top Quote After a quarter of a century hand-crafting cheese in a tiny building on a back road in Elkmont, Alabama, Belle Chevre has broken ground on a dazzling new creamery to meet demand for its artisan goat cheese products. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) July 09, 2013 - Belle Chevre has officially broken ground on their new creamery in Elkmont, Alabama. After nearly 25 years in the same humble building down a rural road, Belle Chevre has outgrown its home and will be moving into an 8,000 square foot historic building which was a former cotton warehouse. The building is being totally renovated, giving Belle Chevre the much needed space to expand to meet the increasing demand of their applauded products. The building will provide space for visitors to tour the cheesemaking facility and witness firsthand how Belle Chevre's products are created.

    Bails of cotton were stored in this old warehouse, where they were weighed before being loaded on the train that ran adjacent to the building.  The train tracks have now been reinvented as a Rails to Trails initiative and the cotton warehouse will reinvent itself to house another bright white product - fresh chevre. "This opening is a story of revitalization," says Tasia Malakasis, President of Belle Chevre. "It's no small achievement that a tiny Southern town once devoted to cotton is now home to one of the nation's most well-known artisan, healthy food brands." The town of Elkmont has banded together to show their support for Belle Chevre. Upon learning of their space constraints, the town voted to offer up this building to the cheese company.

    The new creamery will feature tours, both for the general public and school children. Visitors will learn how goat cheese is made, be able to peek in on Belle Chevre's cheesemakers, and learn about the history of cheese. The attractive grounds will also be open for event rental. The visitor-friendly space is being built under the direction of Hay Buchanan architects.

    Grand opening weekend will be October 4-6, 2013. The ribbon cutting is scheduled for 11am on Friday, October 4, and will be followed by an Inaugural Cheese Making Session and a weekend of activities, cheesemaking classes, and music. Special attendees will include national and statewide officials, the editor of Southern Living, cheese experts, and other exciting guests.

    Belle Chevre's new creamery will be located behind their recently opened first-ever retail space in historic downtown Elkmont, Alabama, at 18849 Upper Fort Hampton Road. Belle Chevre has produced a variety of internationally acclaimed chevres since 1989 using time-tested European farmstead techniques. The company is purposefully small, and each chevre is hand made in Alabama by its passionate cheese makers. Belle Chèvre cheeses have received numerous national awards from the American Cheese Society and the American Dairy Goat Association, and have been featured by Martha Stewart, Oprah, and everyone in between.

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