Belle Chevre Creamery was established in 2019 by David and Jennifer Rodrigue with the goal to share the couple’s passion for rural life, goats, fine food, and especially goat cheese with the public. As a pre-retirement venture David and Jennifer bought the 40 acre block close to the township of Waipu to dabble in self-sufficiency and specifically, to raise a few goats for milk and cheese.
“A love of goat cheese followed us from our overseas origins along with extensive travel when we immigrated in 2002.”
Being unable to find much in the way of artisan cheeses or goat cheese in particular caused Jennifer to start wanting to make it herself.
“If people have been milking goats for 5000 years, I can certainly figure it out”.
And that she did. Two “in milk” does were purchased at Christmas 2015 just six months after buying the land and they were on their way. Jennifer entered and won gold medals in the local A&P show and went on to also get the amateur cheesemaker of the year trophy (2019) from the NZ Specialist Cheesemakers Association of which she is still a member and competes annually.
CHAMPION OF CHEESE AWARDS
What do the experts say?
Head Cheesemaker, Jennifer Rodrigue is a member of the New Zealand Specialist Cheesemakers Association which conducts the NZ Champion of Cheese competition and awards each year.
Some notable achievements are:
2022 Gold Medal Raspberry BonBons
2022 Trophy for Innovation Raspberry BonBons
2022 Silver Medal Betta Than Feta
From the press release:
“Belle Chèvre Creamery’s Raspberry Bonbons were so unexpected! Hats off to them for presenting a cheese with the wow factor. It was the perfect coming together of a cheesemaker and a chef, creating a goat cheese, raspberry and chocolate combo which delivered on flavour, presentation and innovation.” - Master Cheese Judge Jason Tarrant
2021 Gold Medal Marinated Goat Cheese
2021 Bronze Medal Betta Than Feta
2020 Gold Medal Chevre
2020 Gold Medal Zalloumi
2020 Gold Medal Manaia Ma
2020 Silver Medal Marinated Goat Cheese
2019 Gold Medal Belle Chevre Flat White
And Trophy for Champion Home Crafted Cheese and Cheesemaker.