Farmers open Amish cheese shop in Charlotte Court House
Published 4:00 pm Friday, June 9, 2023
Since moving to Charlotte County, Amish farmers have been exploring ways to sell their products. In addition to the already established Southside Wholesale Produce Auction and Cedar Grove Livestock Auction House, farmers in the community have now opened an Amish cheese shop.
The New Sunrise Dairy is now open for both retail and wholesale cheese buyers.
Located at 4099 Germantown Road in Charlotte Court House, the group of farmers prides themselves on producing and selling locally produced whole milk cheeses.
With cows milked just right down the road to 11 varieties of cheeses produced in the shop daily, Elam Stoltzfus said the community started with the idea of the shop in 2019.
“We were selling our milk to places in Northern Virginia,” Stoltzfus said. “Now we can take our own product and turn it into a product for better farming success.”
Taking that milk product and making it into cheese means pasteurizing 16,000 pounds of milk before culture and coloring are added along with other ingredients to make their cheeses.
On average, Stolzfus said it takes five hours to make hard block cheese and three hours to make some of the softer cheeses like Ricotta.
According to Stoltzfus, making a living by farming is becoming harder and harder.
We opened this and the other places for the future of the farmers in the Amish Community,” Stoltzfus said. “Income on a farm is limited.”
In 2012, the community started to find a solution when they opened the Southside Wholesale Produce Auction just minutes from the cheese shop.
This twice weekly event is not just an auction, but also a farmer’s market where it has helped the farmers to reach wholesale buyers, thereby expanding their reach and increasing their profits.
With 10 dairy farming families in the Charlotte County Amish community, Stoltzfus said the cheese shop was established to benefit not just the farmers but the entire community and the general public. “This benefits the community,” he said. “The general public accepted the idea we had and wanted to do here.”
With the cheese shop now open, Stoltzfus said they would like to begin making and selling butter at the shop in the near future.
If you are planning a trip to New Sunrise Dairy they are not open on Sundays. But Monday through Friday hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.