STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) — Ballerino Creamery opened in Staunton in May, and with the holiday season in full swing, the creamery is preparing for a busy time.
Louella Hill preps cheese in her micro-creamery | Photo: WHSV
Louella Hill searched for years to find the perfect place for her creamery. Fate led her to the old Augusta Dairies building, in a room that was originally used to make cheese — and that is when Ballerino Creamery opened.
"It feels magical to think that I'm making cheese in the very room that more than my lifetime ago, people were doing the very same thing," said Hill. "Old timers call it the cottage cheese room, and when I showed up on this person's doorstep and said, 'Hi, I'm a cheese maker,' it sort of felt like things started to line up."
She said her cheese is different because she uses milk from a local farmer outside of Staunton and it is truly handcrafted.
"We are making this cheese with our hands. We are not robots and buttons, we are simply muscles and passion," said Hill.
She said she has seen an increase in demand for cheese during the holiday season, because a lot of people are looking for host or hostess gifts to give.
"Something that they can taste and enjoy and it doesn't end up, you know, left in their garage ten years later," said Hill. "People like to visit us at the farmer's market because we put out samples and they can taste our cheeses, which are not like any other cheeses they've had before."
Cheese from Ballerino Creamery can be found at the Staunton Farmer's Market, as well as at The Green Room, The Shack, and Newtown Baking in Staunton.