Local Agriculture

Cash-strapped artisans turn to foodies for financing

Food artisans are finding creative ways of financing their businesses. The deal: Invest in us, and we’ll pay you back in cheese, beer and veggies.

Sarah Elton, Globe and Mail, April 20, 2010

When the lease ran out at cheese maker Ruth Klahsen’s Monforte dairy, she was faced with the prospect of never making her artisanal cheese again.

With no money to invest in her business, she found herself eligible for neither government funds nor bank loans. It looked as though she might have to call it quits – which would have left such fans as Toronto chef Jamie Kennedy without the cheeses she makes by hand from sheep’s and goat’s milk raised primarily by Amish and Mennonite shepherds.