May Producer Spotlight: Cato Corner

“A Dynamic Duo”

Owned and operated for over 30 years, Cato Corner is a small, independent family farm located in Colchester, Connecticut, ran by mother and son duo Elizabeth and Mark MacAlister. In an effort to become more sustainable, Elizabeth began making cheese in 1997. During this time, many family farms were disappearing at a rapid rate around the country. Operational cost rose quickly, while consumer interest and the cost of goods shifted to a model adapted by large industrial farms.Investing in a sustainable future required the advent of a value added commodity ushering in a new era.

Elizabeth enrolled in a cheese making technical course at California Polytechnic University. Shortly thereafter, she attended a workshop hosted by a Belgium cheese master in which she began experimenting with cheese.

In 1999, Elizabeth’s son Mark left his job as a 7th grade teacher. Following in his mother’s foot-steps, Market enrolled in several technical courses, in addition to spending countless hours shadowing his mother, learning her techniques. Having won several awards and recognition for a variety of their cheeses, you can find Mark hunkered down in the “make room”, while (mother) Elizabeth tends to the operational duties of the farm – milking and caring for the herd of Jersey Cow.

In addition to the MacAlister duo – Cato Corner would not be possible without the assistance of several full-time & part-time team members and the assistance of their two border collies – Flute and Harp.

Each piece of cheese is made from Raw Jersey Cow’s milk, crafted into a dozen different styles.

HOOLIGAN made by Elizabeth MacAllister of Cato Corner Farm (Colchester, CT) – Semi-soft cheese made from raw cow’s milk. This washed-rind cheese has a soft, creamy interior and a gorgeous orange rind. Hooligan’s flavor is sweet, with undertones of grass and walnuts. The wheels are bathed twice a week in brine to encourage the growth of pungent, surface-ripening bacteria during the minimum 60-day aging period that goes on in the farm’s underground caves. Each wheel is made by hand; the milk comes from a herd of 40 Jersey and Brown Swiss cows which are allowed to graze freely. Case 1/1.5#