Sue Kurta wanted to escape the rat race, so she bought a farm and started Boss Mouse Cheese. After spending years working for corporate America in New York City, she leaned into her cheesemaking hobby. In 2008, she got an apprenticeship in rural Maine at a small goat farm where she fell in love with the idea of living on a farm and making cheese. Shortly afterward she bought an old farm in Kingsley, Michigan, and by 2014, she was able to quit her day job and work on Boss Mouse fulltime.
“My teachers in Maine had a single Camshelving unit and they loved it. So, when I built my room, of course, I sought out Camshelving®,” said Kurta.
Michigan has very, very strict dairy laws and cheese caves have to adhere to a finite set of rules and regulations. Because of the humid environment cheese needs to age, using metal shelving isn’t realistic because it rusts very quickly and easily. However, Camshelving Premium Series is ideal because it designed to withstand even the harshest environments. Plus, it has a lifetime guarantee against rust and corrosion.
“My health inspector loves our racks and we’ve recommended them to other cheesemakers because of the cleanability and they’re lightweight; we have to move them around sometimes and when there’s no cheese on them, I alone can pick one up,” said Kurta.
Camshelving’s cleanability and food safe properties allow Kurta to age their cheese directly on their shelf plates, something many shelving units wouldn’t be able to facilitate.
“The whole thing is washable in the dishwasher. We love it because we have a cheese mat that sits between the rack and the cheese, but when they get dry enough, I can just put them straight on the Cambro rack, and because of the slats, it keeps a nice airflow going,” said Kurta. “I also love the pattern; my cheeses get this amazing pattern because the Cambro racks make this kind of tartan design when we turn [the cheese].”
In the last 10 years she’s had her Camshelving, she hasn’t had to replace any of it.
While cheese is king, Boss Mouse has another dairy product that has gained notoriety.
“There’s another thing we make that we’re kind of famous for…we smoke butter. We take butter and we hand-wrap it in wax paper and we cold smoke it. So, what you end up with is this block that tastes like bacon fat,” said Kurta.
Boss Mouse smoked butter has been featured on The Rachael Ray show and as a basket ingredient on multiple episodes of Chopped on the Food Network.
“I’m very proud. I can’t believe it happened. It was not my endgame at all, but that ‘Do what you love and the money will follow’ thing, that happened,” said Kurta. To purchase Boss Mouse products or join their cheese club, visit: www.bossmousecheese.com.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: ADRIANA DESIDERIO IS THE DIGITAL CONTENT MANAGER AT CAMBRO.