In the not-so-distant past, most U.S.-made cheese came from factories in the Midwest. Now Southeastern Pennsylvania and the surrounding area has exploded, with a plethora of creameries coming into existence in just the last 10 years, and you can find almost any style of cheese being made within 100 miles of here. One of the newcomers is Stefanie Angstadt of Valley Milkhouse Creamery.
Breaking into the booming specialty food area isn’t easy, and it takes much more than having something good to eat. “First, we came up with a great name,” said Kristen McManus, one of the co-founders of Brine Street Picklery. “And we knew with the red color on our labels inspired by our Thai chilis, combined with the hand-done type of our name, our product would really stand out.”
With agriculture dominated by mega-producers, it’s reassuring to find a favorite product packaged and distributed by a local family business. One example: Fruitwood Orchards in South Jersey, which provides honey, both bottled and bulk, to Weavers Way.
About a dozen years ago, Mauricio Mendez’s grandmother began making guacamole and selling it at farmers markets in South Florida. Mauricio helped out, learned his grandmother’s recipe, and developed his own mango salsa and pico de gallo. After Di Bruno’s became the first large specialty store in the Philadelphia area to stock Anita’s, other stores took note. One of those was Weavers Way Co-op.