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The Cheese Lady Sisterhood

The The Cheese Lady Sisterhood Cheese Lady Story
Kathleen Fagan Riegler
The Cheese Lady Sisterhood / Founder

In July of 2004 I resigned my real job. I had grown tired of the road. After over 20 years of driving and selling, it was time for a change.

Tongue in cheek I suggested to my husband John, that I go to the Muskegon Farmers’ Market and sell cheese. The previous April we had been in Provence, France. I loved the open-air markets more than anything and we spent countless hours wandering and watching the vendors. Because I was in the cheese business, the cheese vendors particularly intrigued me. John encouraged me to try it.  And In less than 3 weeks I had a name, a Department of Agriculture license and a sign. I was The Cheese Lady. I bought $500. worth of cheese from the company I had just left and went to market. I sold out.

I love it at the market. The energy is immense. The market crosses all lines. Market goers are a diverse group in every way except one. Everyone there wants to be there. Both the sellers and the buyers.

Since I started selling only cheese, I have learned so much. I now have a PASSION to make you love cheese as much as I do. I am a turophile. A lover of cheese.

Cheese is a living, growing thing. A fascinating one. As my friend, Connie, says, “Isn’t it incredible what they can do with milk?” Cheese can be salty or sweet. Cheese can be soft or hard. Cheese can be smelly or mild. And it changes character day by day.

My favorite cheeses might not be yours. Your favorite cheeses may not be mine. But in the thousands of cheeses out there we both can find one that makes us smile.

Cheese gives me much pleasure. Part of that pleasure comes from knowing a little more about it every day. And part of the pleasure comes from providing people with a place to buy cheeses that will take them back to another place, another time. Back to sharing cheese and bread with your grandfather. Back to the beautiful markets of Provence. Back to the lovely green hills of Ireland. Sharing cheese. And sharing time with family and friends. It is simple.

We are a sisterhood, of mostly women, who help and support each other.

And I, for one, am grateful and proud to know these “sisters”. My life is much enriched by our association and friendship.