Smoked butter is a thing!
Great feature on our smoked butter by Emily Bingham of MLive.com! It says (in part):
Kurta is quick to point out that her cheeses are never “wacky,” but that she does consider them to be made in a more unique, new-school American style. “Cheesemaking is a lot like winemaking; it’s a very traditional craft. And not long ago [the attitude about] wine was like, ‘It’s gotta be French or nothing,'” she says.
Similarly, when it comes to cheese, Kurta says many artisans still believe European traditions are the gold standard to aspire to. “Respectfully, I completely do it how I want to do it,” she says. “I don’t color in the lines.”
And yet, the operations themselves at Boss Mouse are still very old school: Every part of the cheesemaking process happens by hand, in the converted former corn crib that contains Boss Mouse’s burgeoning business. Even the milk Kurta uses — from the beloved Traverse City dairy and creamery Moomers — still arrives at her farm in pails.
Kurta is one of just three cheesemakers in Northern Michigan (all of whom, she points out, are women), and her business is one of the smallest artisan cheese operations in the whole state, producing less than 200 pounds of cheese per week. “In the cheese world it’s a tiny amount of cheese, but it’s huge for me,” Kurta says.
Indeed, it was just three years ago that it became possible for Kurta to quit her day job and devote herself full-time to her craft. But that was a leap of faith that continues to pay off: Kurta says she still pinches herself over getting to do what she loves for a living, and notes that her little cheese company is growing at a dizzying pace.
Which makes the quirky, smile-inducing name Kurta chose for her company seem pretty apropos: Not only is “Boss Mouse” fun to say, but it finds the joy at the junction of both modest and mighty. “It’s this big, powerful tiny thing,” as she puts it. It’s a name some people close to Kurta advised her not to choose, suggesting something more traditional — a name like the Kingsley Cheese Company, perhaps — but just as with her cheesemaking, Kurta was determined to take a different direction.
“It takes a lot of confidence to just say, ‘yeah, I rock, I’m going to do it my way,'” she says. “But if you’re true to yourself, you’re never going to lose. You can’t go wrong.”