100%

funded

Total loan: $10,000

Jessica

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Fayetteville, AR, United States / Food

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A loan helped us open Arkansas' only independent, cut-to-order cheese shop through the purchase of inventory and equipment, as we move into a brick & mortar location!


Jessica's story

In 2012 I took my first cheesemaking class from Dr. Larry and Linda Faillace, cheesemakers visiting Arkansas. I was instantly hooked. I can still feel the wonder of first witnessing the magic of making curds & whey, my heart full of joy as I scooped salted curds from the vat. Since then I've studied cheese from Vermont to Belize, taking technical & food safety classes, and visiting, working, and interviewing artisan cheesemakers and cheese shops around the country -- all with the goal of bringing that knowledge and craft back home to Arkansas. This summer I'm overjoyed to open our state's only full-service, independent cheese shop where you can come to buy a chunk of Stilton, enjoy a glass of wine with your fondue, or take a Mozzarella making class. Although I grew up in an entrepreneurial family in southern Arkansas, as a kid I thought no one in their right mind would start a small business. Looking back, it's easy to see how my background in microbiology and enthusiasm for food and fermentation naturally led me to the fascinating and tasty world of cheese, but I had no idea that it would spark my entrepreneurial spirit --- you never really know where life will take you! In the fall of 2015, I successfully funded (and repaid) our first Kiva loan to purchase our CheeseMobile, which has (and continues to be) truly instrumental in the growth and mobility of the business. Now, I hope you'll consider contributing towards our second Kiva loan, as I want nothing more than to share tasty artisanal cheeses with you all at our storefront this summer! This loan will help us purchase our refrigerated cheese case which will feature our rotating selection of approximately 150 amazing cheeses and serve as the heart of our operations.