Christian and Maggie are ex-military. Disciplined, full of initiative and possessing a solid work ethic. This is a great combination to succeed in farming. Both entrepreneurs hold degrees and formal training in agriculture. Christian also has training in environmental protection and Maggie has trained as a cheese-maker.
We started milking sheep in 1999 and sold ewe’s milk to several cheese factories in Quebec. Unfortunately the Listeriosis Crisis in 2008 affected all artisan cheese factories and demand for milk literally evaporated.
At this point, a critical decision had to be made. End milking or process our milk into cheese and continue. Maggie and Christian decided to continue and our cheese factory les folies bergères was born.
Loosely translated les folies bergères is crazy shepherds. Well the name suites….cause you have to be a little crazy to start a cheese factory after the listeriosis crisis, and during a recession.
Christian takes care of the farm: harvests the hay and milks the sheep and raises the lambs; Maggie makes the cheese and takes care of the cheese factory. Both entrepreneurs were clear that a federal factory was critical in order to market their products in Ottawa. Their interest is to make locally and sell locally.