Valley Milkhouse is an artisan creamery producing fresh and aged cheeses, butter and yogurt in Berks County, Pennsylvania.
We are inspired by the European cheesemaking tradition, making primarily French and Dutch styles. We handcraft each cheese with special attention to texture and flavor, and we seek to allow the terroir of the region to shine.
Our milk comes from two dairies: Spring Creek Farm and Dutch Meadows Dairy. Both farms are certified organic dairies feeding their cows a 100% grass based diet. Spring Creek Farm's herd is a mix of Jersey, Ayrshire and Holstein breeds. Dutch Meadows Dairy raises the rare dutch belted breed of cattle, known for its delicate milk that is more easily digestible than other breeds. You can read more about our milk sources here.
We distribute our products via retail outlets in Philadelphia and throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania. We also participate in several farmers' markets and farm share programs. For details, visit Where to Find Us.
We enjoy hosting events and cheesemaking classes and also offer custom cheese plates. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up for email updates to keep in touch.
Valley Milkhouse was recognized by Cheese Rank as one of the "next big things" for 2016. Cheesemaker Stefanie Angstadt was voted among Zagat's 30 Under 30 in 2015. Valley Milkhouse is also proud to be part of the steering committee for the newly formed Pennsylvania Cheese Guild.
Stefanie was fortunate to return home to her familial roots in the Oley Valley in the spring of 2012 when she fatefully met organic farmer Tim Stark at the Union Square Greenmarket in New York City. In a brief conversation, she learned that Tim's farm is situated on Angstadt Hill - the very tract of land that Stefanie's German ancestors settled nearly three centuries before her. The rest is history. When she met the Oley Valley for the first time since early childhood, she fell in love, and she never looked back.
Stefanie’s cheesemaking experience began several years before, at a home brew supply shop in Brooklyn when a small shelf hosting Ricki Carroll’s beginning cheesemaking kit caught her eye. A gallon of milk and a heap of squeeky curds later, her interest was sparked. After a few years of home cheesemaking, she was fortunate to land a job at award-winning Avalanche Cheese Company in Basalt, Colorado where she learned the traditional English technique of wrapping cheddar in lard-soaked bandaging, and her curiosity for the craft deepened.
In the spring of 2014, Stefanie came upon an old milkhouse of a retired dairy barn in the Oley Valley. She approached the farm's owners about the possibility of turning it into a creamery. With their encouragement, a little elbow grease and the help of several industrious friends, the space was renovated and the production launched in May 2014.
The Oley Valley and Covered Bridge Farm
The milkhouse is located on one of the oldest farms in Oley, known as the Yoder-Cleaver homestead dating back to 1743. A long retired dairy farm, the estate is coming back to life thanks to the Stokes’ family’s efforts to restore, rebuild and reinvent the 18th century farmhouse, bank barn, several outbuildings, spring-fed stream, Manatawny Creek bed and surrounding acreage.
The Stokes have partnered with other local farmers to cultivate the tillable land on the property in organic vegetable production.
The Oley Valley (or as a true Dutchman would say it: “Olee Walley”) merits distinction for having some of the most fertile land in the Eastern United States and some of the cutest suspender-bearing children on bikes (not to mention Weaver’s best ever chocolate peanut butter cake).
The Oley Valley is a breadbasket of growers and food artisans supplying the surrounding communities and small cities throughout Eastern Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. Travel here on a Saturday in June, and you are likely to see packs of cyclists cruising the wooded hills, horse-drawn buggies hugging the sides of the winding country roads, chickens running around two-centuries-old stone barns, laundry lines dangling a week’s worth of blue jeans in the breeze, and farm stands of all shapes and sizes displaying the season’s first strawberries and sugar snap peas.
The Oley Valley is truly way of life.