Pierre Kolisch began selling his Juniper Grove cheese directly to customers a long time ago, back when our market was located in the Albers Mill Parking lot, roughly 1997. Then he was part of the vanguard, one of the visionary farmers and artisans who believed there was an audience looking for cheeses that weren’t individually wrapped. At the time there were only a handful of farmers markets in Oregon and fewer than under 2,000 in the entire US. Pierre will be wrapping up his tenure at Portland Farmers Market, leaving us with a disproportionate number of award winning local cheesemakers and a vibrant market culture that now features over 8,000 registered Farmers Markets in the states.
Besides the move to Portland State, Pierre, who began studying cheesemaking in France a dozen years before he sold at PFM, has seen changes galore in the local food culture says, “The number of cheese makers has increased, and the quality of cheese has improved. I applaud the Portland Farmers Market for maintaining its focus on farmer produced food, and for striking a balance between entertainment and an outlet for serious small scale producers.”
PFM’s Operation director, Jaret Foster says, “Juniper Grove has always delighted our shoppers with their fine cheeses; Buche, with it’s characteristic wheat straw, the Pyramid and Tumalo Tomme to name a few. I know many chefs as well that have created dishes centered around Juniper Grove’s cheeses, especially their delicious fromage blanc. They will be missed!”
Next up for Pierre? He will continue to live in the Bend/Redmond area with his family and will be engaged in, “Doing management intensive grazing of my sheep flock, growing hay, and growing potatoes for the local fresh market.”
Come and say goodbye, thank Pierre for helping build the market we see and enjoy. And don’t to forget to pick up some of Juniper Grove’s cheese while you still can. Saturday at our Portland State Market between 8:30-2.