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The Cranky Goat Gig

The Cranky Goat Gig

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Cranky Goat cheese may not be world famous in Marlborough for much longer. What started as a low-key retirement side gig, has exploded to become one of the stars of Aotearoa’s burgeoning cheese scene, now making it world famous in New Zealand.

Simon and Hellene Lamb started making cheese as a hobby with milk from their neighbour’s goat farm over 8 years ago. The couple quickly saw potential for the goat cheese business. In 2014 they started out with plans of processing 60L of milk a day to make enough cheese to sell at the Nelson and Marlborough farmers markets. Unfortunately, the couple have been far too successful and have ended up processing 500L of creamy goat milk a day, producing 1.5 tonnes of cheese a month. To achieve this the Lamb’s work seven days a week, for nine months of the year. When asked if she’s having fun, Hellene said ’Absolutley!’.

Because working seven days a week, for nine months of the year isn’t hard enough work the Cranky Goat duo have diversified into cow’s cheese, the aptly named, Moody Cow and most recently Cranky Goat Yogurt.

In addition to this, a couple of years ago Simon was part of team of cheesemakers who worked with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), providing input into the development of the Food Safety Template for Cheesemakers. As part of the Food Act 2014, MPI has to support New Zealand food businesses by developing and implementing easy-to-use and efficient regulations. The template is to help cheesemakers comply with both the Food Act. Hellene says that the template has cut both their paperwork and their compliance costs.

This diversification and volunteerism reflect the couple’s energy and passion for their business, craft and the artisan cheese sector…and that they are without doubt failing at having a quiet life in the Marlborough Sounds!

You can find out more about Cranky Goat here.

Words by Michelle Barry & Tom Hindmarsh. Owners of @emeraldwines - A Winemaker and an Agroecologist.


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