Our founding farmers are the Wavrin Family. Bill was trained in the natural sciences and veterinary medicine. He and his wife Laurie were joined by his brother Sid and wife Kelly, and have nurtured the cows and the plants that feed them since the early nineties. Now, three generations are involved. In 2009, the family purchased our dairy in Ferndale from the Larsen family, who had farmed here for three generations. Bill's son Daniel had a desire to stay involved with the family business after growing up working on the farm. While attending school at Cal Poly University in 2011, he discovered artisan cheese. With the support of his father and uncle, they began the process of building a creamery. Construction started in 2013 after dozens of visits to artisans and universities in the heartlands of American cheese from California to Wisconsin to Vermont.
Good milk makes good cheese, and we are lucky to have the farmers on our side. The farming team is led by Kevin Dougherty. Trained in Animal Science at Cornell University, Kevin became the foreman of Western Waves in Ferndale in 2009. Whether it is feeding calves at six in the morning or harvesting corn through the night, Kevin and the crew are devoted to keeping the farm humming and to keeping our cows happy. By his side is our herdsman and team of people that milk the cows and who work day in and day out to produce clean and pure milk for our cheese. They have been chosen for their great respect of the animals and an enthusiasm for doing things right every day.
Our cheese artisans are the key to making sure our end product is consistently authentic. Our head of cheese creation Raffaele Mascolo has been making cheese for 35 years, in Wisconsin state as well as his home of Naples in Italy. With his knowledge, our cheesemakers have nearly 50 years of combined experience. They have worked for award winning creameries such as the Cellars at Jasper Hill, Beecher's Cheese, and Mt Townsend Creamery. With a dedication to Food Safety and Quality, our young and veteran cheesemakers work together to create great local cheeses.
The Ferndale Farmstead team consists of cheesemakers, milkers, and equipment operators that keep our process alive. They work hard to make sure you have the safest, highest quality food available. They have education and experience in food production such as tree fruit, potatoes, seafood, berries, wine grapes, and bottled milk. We pride ourselves in the excellence of our employees, our crew is our family.
The passion is shared by all in caring for the cows, people, and our natural resources with true respect and understanding. We will continue to work to create the best possible environment not only for us, but for the whole team involved and the communities surrounding the farms.