On February 20, 2014, the Amesbury Chamber of Commerce hosted a business after hours event to celebrate the grand opening of Wolf Meadow Farm, a new artisan cheese shop at 91 High Street in Amesbury. I saw that event advertised on the Amesbury Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook page and as it said members and non-members were invited, I thought I might go. During my time at Workspace 36 that Thursday afternoon, Ed Justen said I should go and that they had great cheese. I love cheese and being invited to an Amesbury event instead of accidentally “crashing” it sounded divine!
Ed gave me easy to follow directions, which are always helpful for a girl like me who has become lost in Amesbury on foot and by car more times than I can count. I found Wolf Meadow Farm very easily and parked without any problem at all. They’d already had their official part of the event and it was now open to the public with a large sign draped over the main entrance.
I could see people inside standing around chatting so I mustered my courage for what felt like the 100th time that day and went inside. A few of the faces were familiar from Facebook and the other Amesbury events I’ve attended but the only two I could put names to were Ed Justen and Erica Holthausen because I knew them from Workspace 36. Ed greeted me and told me to put my business card in for the door prize drawing. I did so and then acclimated myself to the surroundings.
It was bright and pleasant inside and filled with the appetizing aroma of fresh cheese and meatballs. The cheese was all Wolf Meadow Farm and the meatballs were from CRAVE Brasserie & Wine Bar in Amesbury whose chef had used the artisan cheeses in the recipe.
There was a counter covered with platters of the facility’s cheese selections so I wove my way through the people and began filling my plate with each kind of cheese. I loved every kind of cheese I tried! I was especially fond of the fresh mozzarella and the spicy cheese with the red pepper flakes in it.
Along with the table CRAVE set up, there was also a display of red and white wine from the Amesbury Liquor Shoppe. I poured myself a cup of red and then sat down on the only chair in the room tucked up against the wall between the wine display and a large cabinet.
From there I sat, ate my cheese, drank my wine and watched people. Everyone was obviously enjoying themselves and even though I wasn’t exactly mingling, I was happy to be there among so many people that love and believe in the potential of Amesbury, MA.
Eventually the owner of Wolf Meadow Farm, Luca Mignogna gave a little tour of the facility and about half the people in attendance, including myself, followed him to the back of the store. Luca talked about how he makes the mozzarella and all the other cheeses and there was no denying his passion for what he does! I could tell that his whole heart is in creating amazingly delicious, artisan cheeses and I learned more about the process than I ever thought I would.
Luca explained that he found a farm with the right cows, or ladies as he calls them, and then chose where to build his artisan cheese shop close to that. He wants the milk he uses to be as fresh as possible so close proximity to his shop is very important. Luca is an enthusiastic, knowledgeable and friendly person and his facility is a valuable addition to Amesbury. Even as I write this, I can still hear this voice explaining about the cheese and I can still remember the taste, smell and texture of his delicious cheese! You can learn more about Wolf Meadow Farm, their philosophy, products and cheese-making classes by visiting the Wolf Meadow Farm website or Facebook page.