Vegan cheese: Alexandria, Ont. enterprise finds success

Pure and sustainable meals merchandise have been rising in recognition, with one enterprise southeast of Ottawa discovering success making cheese due to timber.

At Fauxmagerie Zengarry in Alexandra, a weeklong course of is underway to show tiny bits of cashews right into a wheel of creamy cheese.

“We use cashew-based milk as an alternative of dairy-based milk so it is a related sort of course of with fermentation, ageing, flavouring and packaging,” stated founder Lynda Turner.

Turner began the enterprise out of her kitchen in 2013 after transferring to a plant-based weight loss program in 2010.

“Again then, there weren’t rather a lot choice for plant-based cheeses, and cheese was one thing that I actually missed,” Turner recalled. “So, I began experimenting with numerous totally different recipes, utilizing cashews particularly, I had some nice success.

“I experimented with the fermentation course of, discovered to develop my very own probiotics after which we organically sort of launched Fauxmagerie Zengarry and we have been rising throughout Canada ever since.”

Now she runs a full-blown enterprise, using 10 individuals and utilizing all pure merchandise.

“It is a pure course of, not like numerous different vegan cheeses. We actually care about what we put into our product,” Turner stated.

Being sustainable was additionally key, she famous, with the tagline ‘The Cheese That Grows on Timber’ popping up when visiting her web site.

“Clearly cashew nuts develop on timber so it is a sort of a enjoyable mind-set about how this can be a extra sustainable product. It grows on timber, it is renewable and it is simply higher for the planet,” she stated.

Turner additionally grows the entire contemporary herbs utilized in her cheeses in home, together with parsley, basil, dill and rosemary.

Vegan cheese: Alexandria, Ont. enterprise finds successFauxmagerie Zengarry grows the herbs for its vegan cheese in-house. (Nate Vandermeer/CTV Information Ottawa)

“Vegan meals particularly is extra sustainable than animal agriculture. Animal agriculture takes up numerous water, numerous land, numerous carbon and it is simply not as sustainable for meals techniques.”

The result’s a creamy cheese in texture, excellent for wine tasting or charcuterie boards.

And when she says success, she means it.

“We now have our Creamy Swiss Cheese that final yr was voted the very best vegan Swiss on this planet,” Turner stated with a smile.

“We have been one of many first corporations in Canada to start out making cashew cheese. There are just a few others now I’d say perhaps 5 or 6 whole manufacturers which might be doing related issues to what we’re doing,” Turner famous.

The cheese manufacturing facility was considered one of 10 companies that benefitted from a $10,000 grant supplied in 2022 in North Glengarry.

My Foremost Road was a $23.5 million funding in native financial restoration funded by the Federal Financial Improvement Company for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).

The challenge aimed to revitalize 200 neighbourhoods throughout southern Ontario, and to assist small companies recuperate from the pandemic.

“So that they have been capable of put that $10,000 to make use of, purchase new gear, do some renovations to their enterprise like Lynda did, present that actual storefront presence,” stated Darrell Cox, Township of North Glengarry Foremost Road Ambassador.

Fauxmagerie Zengarry in Alexandria, Ont. (Nate Vandermeer/CTV Information Ottawa)

“(Turner) turned it from extra of simply the sort of manufacturing facility, she has a storefront presence, she’s been ready to make use of the cash to make a greater tasting space for shoppers,” Cox stated.

“That is simply going to general make a greater consciousness of her enterprise, higher consciousness of Alexandria Foremost Road, carry extra individuals to our neighborhood and improve the well being and vibrancy of our Foremost Road,” he added.

Eight companies in Alexandria and two in Maxville all obtained non-repayable grants, together with Tom’s Pantry, Muir’s Bakery, Waikato Pizza and A&C Upholstery.

“What we actually needed to supply was non-public samplings right here in our facility so that individuals may come and we may present them pair the cheeses, serve the cheeses, retailer the cheeses, and the way they’re made,” Turner stated.

A number of flavours of cheese are supplied, like herb and garlic and smoky jalapeño. They’re accessible from choose retailers in Ottawa and SDG Counties for round $10.

“They’re 150 grams, so that’s fairly similar to some luxurious dairy primarily based cheeses,” Turner stated.

The identify of her enterprise, additionally a play on phrases, and accomplished on goal in accordance toTurner.

“Fromage, I am from Montreal so I actually needed to play up these French roots, so we name it a Fauxmage, Fauxmagerie, it is simply sort of a enjoyable approach of claiming that it is a fake cheese,” she laughed.

Turner says vegan cheese has come a great distance prior to now decade, and says nobody needs to be afraid by the phrase ‘cashew’ on the field.

“Folks have to strive it to expertise it as a result of I feel vegan cheese has gotten a really unhealthy popularity over time,” she stated. “Again 10 years, the cheeses that they had on the shelf have been no the place close to as scrumptious as we’ve accessible to us now.

“You would not know the distinction in any respect so I’d positively suggest you strive it,” Cox agreed.

A complete choice of cheeses will be discovered on the Fauxmagerie Zengarry web site, with transport supplied all through Ontario and Quebec.