Dancing Goats Dairy is a small goat dairy on the North Shore of Massachusetts. Using the milk from our pastured-raised, mixed breed herd, we make small, artisan batches of fresh and aged cheese that combine old world techniques with a modern flair.
Our cheeses are made by hand in small batches from whole, fresh milk that is antibiotic and hormone free. Our herd is raised on open pasture, giving our cheeses a distinct but mild flavor that changes with the seasons. We craft our cheeses with microbial rennet and the highest quality herbs and spices, sourcing locally whenever possible.
Our story, like most good stories, begins with an unlikely event and a little kiss of fate. Our owner and cheesemaker, Erin Bligh, was fresh back from a term abroad in Rennes, France, where she had fallen in love with the rustic simplicity of French cheese. After finishing school, she shocked her friends and family by announcing that she had taken a job as a Kidding Intern at Consider Bardwell Farm in West Pawlet, Vermont.
Erin spent about a year at Consider Bardwell, first as a kidding intern, learning how to birth goats, milk and make a farm run, then another several months in the cheese room as an apprentice, learning the delicate art of turning that toiled-for milk into a culinary masterpiece. After a while though, she began to miss the proximity of her friends and family and decided to endeavor to find a farm closer to her hometown in Massachusetts where she could raise her very own herd of goats.
In 2012, she settled on a property in Newbury, MA, just a short ride down the road from her family’s home, where she started growing her milking herd and developing recipes using the milk from two does she had brought home with her from Consider Bardwell.
In 2013, after renovating an old farm outbuilding into stalls and a milk room, we began our kidding season with a herd of five goats. Over the next two years, the farm would grow to a milking herd of thirty five.
In 2015 we began selling our products commercially, operating a small farm stand and selling our products in local stores and farmers markets. Our farm and cheese offerings began to expand and refine, gaining us wonderful press and a passionate local following. In 2017, we even took home a medal for our Marinated Chèvre at the national American Cheese Society judging. All of which lead us to our most exciting endeavor yet…
Our Newest Adventure!
By 2019, Dancing Goats Dairy had been a dream seven years in the making! We’re so excited about what we’ve been able to accomplish in the last few years with a wild cocktail of ingenuity, passion, sheer stubbornness, and a heaping helping of the love and support from my friends, family, and community. But when all was said and done, Erin decided to make the exciting (and a little terrifying) leap to end her one woman show and become part of a team of dreamers and collaborators. Who doesn’t love being Wonder Woman sometimes! But honestly she could not be more excited to become part of the Justice League.
We can’t even begin to explain how excited we are to be working with the team at Lillooet Cheesery. Lillooet’s vision for the future of farming is the embodiment of everything we sought to accomplish when we first started out and finding another group of passionate individuals who share our hopes and conviction about how a farm can be run has been an amazing feeling. This new venture gives us the unique opportunity to use our animals to be part of an effort to regenerate a historic farm in Essex County, to contribute to our local community, to create quality cheeses with a focus on reviving artisanal methods, and to raise our animals in a way that is more compassionate and gentle on the environment. Having to run a business by yourself is exhausting and it can sometimes feel overwhelming to feel like you have the world on your shoulders with no one to share the burden as well as the joy with. We’re joining a team full of passion, motivation and grit: a team willing to put in the time, energy and stamina it takes to create the highest quality product. Young farmers who, like Dancing Goats Dairy, are committed to sustainable farming from grass to milk to cheese.
Lillooet Farm is located in Boxford on a property that predates signing of the constitution! The team at Lillooet is working to bring the farm property back to its former glory after 80+ years of overgrowth. Lillooet is the steward of 100 acres of conserved land spread between diverse pastures and rich woodlands. Our goats will be rotationally grazed alongside their herd of sheep in an effort to regenerate the soil and create a positive impact on the land.
You’ll still be able to get all of your favorite Dancing Goats Dairy cheeses! You just may see some of our mixed milk cheese in some snazzy new Lillooet Cheesery packaging sometime in the near future. The soft spreadable goat cheeses will be keeping their Dancing Goats Dairy but we’ll be developing a bunch of new Lillooet Cheesery sheep’s milk and mixed milk cheeses over the coming months that will absolutely knock your socks off! We can’t wait to let the creative magic flow again with this many crazy-passionate foodies having their hands in the vat.