A Cowichan cheese farm is carving out a unique way to keep up with growing demand for its popular products, and all you need is some spare change.
Henry Rekers and his wife Renee Davy love to be out with their cows, and their farm, Cowichan Station Creamery, celebrates being a dairy happily doing things differently.
“I’m trying to show that we can do cows, be kind and have a wonderful end product,” said Cowichan Station Creamery co-owner and cheesemaker Renee Davy.
“Our philosophy is kindness to the cow, and our cows are all members of the family so to speak. We don’t separate calves from their mothers and we don’t ship cows,” said Rekers, co-owner of Cowichan Station Creamery.
Now the farmers are selling their artisan cheese in a unique new way too, since there’s only two of them — and a lot of cheese to make.
“It’s fun. It’s great because then I can spend more time with my cows,” said Rekers.
They set up a vending machine on their Howie Road farm a week ago, to sell their cherished cheddars and goudas, in convenient form, with the swipe of a card or cash.
“Provides access seven days a week,” said Rekers.
“The response has been really good. Everyone really likes it, they walk up to it, they take pictures of it.”
According to the farm, sales have never been higher.
“We had a cheese emergency on Halloween. Somebody was up at the store frantically at 7:30 p.m. I was like what’s going on? Well they needed cheese and it was 7:30 at night and I was like, ‘OK, vending machine is open,'” said Davy.
The small farm is finding its own way of doing business, with a focus on kindness — and now convenience.