Down at the base of Polson Bay, you’ll find a bright yellow, two story building with a 140 tube solar array crowning a copper roof; the home of Flathead Lake Cheese. Husband and wife team, Joe and Wendi Arnold, did the majority of the building themselves and became operational in March of 2012. Creating a solar thermal based pasteurization process is just one of the unique features of their facility.
Working with two local dairies, the Arnolds craft cheeses, 275 gallons at a time, making several types of aged Goudas as well as fresh curds and feta. “Currently, our only milk source is cow’s milk but we have visited with several goat and sheep dairies that are looking into getting their milking barns certified”, says Wendi, owner. “Once found dotted throughout our valleys, diaries and creameries have come close to extinction. We are one of only four cheese makers in the entire state.”
Along with their weekly presence at several Farmer’s Markets during the summer season, if you find yourself in Polson, you can come and visit their walk up window, open Monday through Saturday – 9 to 5. “If we’re not working on cheese”, says Joe, “we’d love to show you around the Creamery. Most of the items inside have been either recycled or re-purposed.”
You can find Flathead Lake Cheese at the Clark Fork Farmer’s Market and Kalispell Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings, Polson Farmer’s Market on Friday mornings and the Whitefish Farmer’s Market on Tuesday evenings, along with several restaurants and stores such as The Buttercup Market and the Good Food Store in Missoula.
There’s always something going on – visit their website or Facebook page to find out what they’re up to. www.FlatheadLakeCheese.com .