We are only three years young as a business now (currently 2018) but our journey to get here has been evolving since much earlier than that.
In 2010 our family suffered a great loss. My gorgeous 14 year old brother Reagan was involved in a scuba diving accident and, despite three weeks in intensive care, never recovered. At the time my mum, a chef and cooking teacher by trade, picked up a number of ‘activities’ to help her through her grief. One of those was a course in handcrafted cheesemaking and this quickly became something she developed a deep affection for as cheese was something my brother LOVED. In keeping herself busy she made too many cheeses for our family and so started giving them away to friends; and then there was too much for the friends and those friends gave some to other friends and eventually everyone wanted more and more and her own dairy cheese making business was born.
As her business grew and grew she brought me in to lend a helping hand. At the time I was vegetarian and was so excited for the opportunity to help get beautiful cheeses into the market that were animal rennet free! And since then I have learned about some amazing cheese making techniques (and some challenging blunders) that have enabled me to experiment with my own ideas. Now enter the accidental beauty that has become The Vegan Dairy.
Being vegetarian for a number of years, and preferring to eat ligher food options without sacrificing taste or quality, finding dairy alternatives that truly rivaled “the real thing” when Bronson and I didn’t want to eat dairy anymore was a big challenge. So I decided to use what I had learnt from working with my mum to do something about it so that we had delicious dairy-free options at home. Our first product was the Persian Feta. We didn’t plan for The Vegan Dairy to become a business. We simply gave my mum some jars of our dairy-free feta, at her request, to take to her markets at the time for her lactose intolerant customers and they loved it! And then they wanted more, and so did their friends, and our friends, and such The Vegan Dairy was then born 🙂
Coming from a cheese making background gave us the insight into traditional cheese making methods that could be applied to vegan versions, and also enabled us to play with flavours with a better understanding of how our products should taste if they were to rival dairy. And though I think we have done a pretty good job so far we are always experimenting and working on new things and ideas – Bronson has unexpectedly now become an enthusiastic (and extremely talented) budding vegan cheesemaker as well, balancing out my ‘methodical’ ways with his creative nature, and encouraging me to push the boundaries of what you “can” and “cannot” do in cheesemaking. So feel free to tell us what you hope to see in the future and we’ll see if we can make it a possibility!
I hope you love our creations as much as we do!