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Creamery Takes Third Place At American Cheese Society

Reverie Creamery has won in the New York State Fair countless of times. This is the first time the creamery competed in the American Cheese Society competition, and it’s won with the Tom and Wanderer cheeses. P-J photo by Carly Gould

MAYVILLE — After winning in the New York State Fair, Reverie Creamery’s cheeses have gone on to win in the American Cheese Society competition of 2019.

The creamery’s Tom and Wanderer cheeses were selected as winners in the American made/International style open category in the competition, being picked over 1,700 cheeses across the United States and Canada. Both cheeses had previously won gold in the New York State Fair’s artisan cheese competition this summer and the Tom cheese had won best artisan hard cheese at the NYS Fair in 2016.

“This is a huge win for us, being a rather small and new cheese maker,” said Jessica Meredith, operations support of the creamery. “We’ve been here for four years and some of the people at the competition has been making cheese for decades and decades. We’re using local products and milk, so having won in New York State and the American Cheese Society competition means a lot.”

Riko Chandra, owner of Reverie Creamery who was in Italy and not available for comment, started out in information technology and needed a change in life. He had taken classes in cheese-making, which he brought with him when he moved to Chautauqua County. He is hoping to distribute the creamery’s cheeses to outside the county, including Buffalo, Cleveland and even Italy.

“He’s a really creative person,” Meredith said. “He really cares about the details. He said he loves the quality of the milk in Chautauqua County and that cheese was a way to preserve that. I used to live next to the dairy farm where we get our milk from, and I traveled around, learning about cheese. I loved Riko’s passion for making cheese that was local.”

The competition consisted of 40 “blind” judges that didn’t know what cheese they were tasting from where until after all the scores were counted to remain unbiased. The cheeses were judged on aesthetics, taste, smell and textures. The judges themselves were some of the biggest names in cheese making.

“I started out in apple farming and as a chef,” said Nelson Harper, cheesemaker and processing plant superintendent. “I was tired of the 110 hour work week and I took a course in cheese-making in Penn State. I kept reading up about it until I found my way here.”

Some of the other creamery’s cheeses have won in the New York State Fair competition, including the Luna and Chamomilla cheeses, but this is the first time the creamery has placed in the national competition.

The shop, located at 3943 W. Lake Road in Mayville, has a variety of cheeses, jams, honey and spreads. Any cheese or spread can be sampled, and the creamery also caters events. Currently, the creamery is working on an activities room to host events.

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