Vegan cheese: Alexandria, Ont. enterprise finds success

Vegan cheese: Alexandria, Ont. enterprise finds success

Pure and sustainable meals merchandise have been rising in recognition, with one enterprise southeast of Ottawa discovering success making cheese due to bushes.

At Fauxmagerie Zengarry in Alexandra, a weeklong course of is underway to show tiny bits of cashews right into a wheel of creamy cheese.

“We use cashew-based milk as a substitute of dairy-based milk so it is a comparable type of course of with fermentation, growing old, flavouring and packaging,” mentioned founder Lynda Turner.

Turner began the enterprise out of her kitchen in 2013 after shifting to a plant-based weight-reduction plan in 2010.

“Again then, there weren’t so much possibility for plant-based cheeses, and cheese was one thing that I actually missed,” Turner recalled. “So, I began experimenting with a number of completely different recipes, utilizing cashews particularly, I had some nice success.

“I experimented with the fermentation course of, realized to develop my very own probiotics after which we organically type of launched Fauxmagerie Zengarry and we have been rising throughout Canada ever since.”

Now she runs a full-blown enterprise, using 10 individuals and utilizing all pure merchandise.

“It is a pure course of, not like a number of different vegan cheeses. We actually care about what we put into our product,” Turner mentioned.

Being sustainable was additionally key, she famous, with the tagline ‘The Cheese That Grows on Bushes’ popping up when visiting her web site.

“Clearly cashew nuts develop on bushes so it is a type of a enjoyable mind-set about how it is a extra sustainable product. It grows on bushes, it is renewable and it is simply higher for the planet,” she mentioned.

Turner additionally grows all the contemporary herbs utilized in her cheeses in home, together with parsley, basil, dill and rosemary.

Vegan cheese: Alexandria, Ont. enterprise finds successFauxmagerie Zengarry grows the herbs for its vegan cheese in-house. (Nate Vandermeer/CTV Information Ottawa)

“Vegan meals particularly is extra sustainable than animal agriculture. Animal agriculture takes up a number of water, a number of land, a number of carbon and it is simply not as sustainable for meals methods.”

The result’s a creamy cheese in texture, excellent for wine tasting or charcuterie boards.

And when she says success, she means it.

“We now have our Creamy Swiss Cheese that final 12 months was voted one of the best vegan Swiss on the earth,” Turner mentioned with a smile.

“We had been one of many first corporations in Canada to start out making cashew cheese. There are a couple of others now I’d say possibly 5 – 6 complete manufacturers which might be doing comparable issues to what we’re doing,” Turner famous.

The cheese manufacturing facility was considered one of 10 companies that benefitted from a $10,000 grant provided in 2022 in North Glengarry.

My Primary Road was a $23.5 million funding in native financial restoration funded by the Federal Financial Improvement Company for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).

The undertaking aimed to revitalize 200 neighbourhoods throughout southern Ontario, and to assist small companies get better from the pandemic.

“So that they had been in a position to put that $10,000 to make use of, purchase new gear, do some renovations to their enterprise like Lynda did, present that actual storefront presence,” mentioned Darrell Cox, Township of North Glengarry Primary Road Ambassador.

Fauxmagerie Zengarry in Alexandria, Ont. (Nate Vandermeer/CTV Information Ottawa)

“(Turner) turned it from extra of simply the type of manufacturing facility, she has a storefront presence, she’s been ready to make use of the cash to make a greater tasting space for shoppers,” Cox mentioned.

“That is simply going to general make a greater consciousness of her enterprise, higher consciousness of Alexandria Primary Road, convey extra individuals to our group and enhance the well being and vibrancy of our Primary Road,” he added.

Eight companies in Alexandria and two in Maxville all acquired non-repayable grants, together with Tom’s Pantry, Muir’s Bakery, Waikato Pizza and A&C Upholstery.

“What we actually needed to supply was personal samplings right here in our facility so that individuals may come and we may present them the right way to pair the cheeses, the right way to serve the cheeses, the right way to retailer the cheeses, and the way they’re made,” Turner mentioned.

A number of flavours of cheese are provided, like herb and garlic and smoky jalapeño. They’re out there from choose retailers in Ottawa and SDG Counties for round $10.

“They’re 150 grams, so that’s fairly akin to some luxurious dairy primarily based cheeses,” Turner mentioned.

The title of her enterprise, additionally a play on phrases, and carried out on function in accordance toTurner.

“Fromage, I am from Montreal so I actually needed to play up these French roots, so we name it a Fauxmage, Fauxmagerie, it is simply type of a enjoyable means of claiming that it is a fake cheese,” she laughed.

Turner says vegan cheese has come a good distance prior to now decade, and says nobody ought to be afraid by the phrase ‘cashew’ on the field.

“Folks must strive it to expertise it as a result of I feel vegan cheese has gotten a really unhealthy popularity over time,” she mentioned. “Again 10 years, the cheeses they’d on the shelf had been no the place close to as scrumptious as we’ve got out there to us now.

“You would not know the distinction in any respect so I’d undoubtedly suggest you strive it,” Cox agreed.

A complete choice of cheeses may be discovered on the Fauxmagerie Zengarry web site, with delivery provided all through Ontario and Quebec. 

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