Just in time for summer's heat wave, the Plain Dealer recommends Lucky Penny Cajeta as a "great new way to serve ice cream." In Northeast Ohio Ice Cream Guide 2015: Five clever new accessories, reporter Debbi Snook describes this local goat milk caramel sauce: "Imagine the slickest caramel sauce with that little goat-ey tang to balance all the sugar. A little cajeta goes a long way in terms of flavor. Top your best ice cream with it. Or, like me, just dip your spoon into the jar for a brief swoon."
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Lucky Penny Creamery is one of five heroes of environmental conservation to be honored during the 16th Annual Portage County Environmental Conservation Awards Benefit Dinner on Saturday, April 5. Recipients of the 2014 awards have been chosen for making a significant contribution to improving quality of life in Portage County through natural resource conservation and environmental awareness and protection. Lucky Penny Creamery — owned by Abbe and Anderson Turner of Lucky Penny Farm in Garrettsville — will earn the Green Business Award for providing farm-to-table local cheeses according to sustainable agricultural practices.
It all began in 2008, when Abbe earned second place in the American Dairy Goat Association’s Amateur Confection Contest with her melt-in-your-mouth Cajeta recipe, a creamy caramel sauce reminiscent of Dulce de Leche. This distinctive Cajeta was handcrafted according to artisanal practices, in small batches, from top-quality goat milk sourced from the Turner family’s own herd of La Mancha, Alpine and Nubian dairy goats at Lucky Penny Farm.
Two years later, Abbe founded Lucky Penny Creamery in Kent, which specializes in farm-fresh goat and sheep cheeses and confections, still handcrafted in small batches according to artisanal traditions and sustainable practices, sourced by trusted family goat and sheep farms in northeast Ohio.
“We are proud to produce superior local dairy goat products by managing the entire process, from pasture to plate, according to sustainable farm and kitchen practices,” says Abbe, who learned her craft at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with additional training from cheesemakers Peter Dixon and Neville McNaughton.
Lucky Penny’s family-farm approach to local specialty food has earned the brand a solid following from reputable chefs, retailers, farmers’ markets, distributors, wholesalers and ethnic food suppliers throughout the Midwest.
It also led to the creation of Farm Girls Pub & Grub, a funky restaurant in downtown Alliance that features “local, sustainable, farm-fresh food from producers we know and trust,” according to Abbe.
The Main Street restaurant does its part toward urban renewal while serving up flavorful entrees like Sweet and Spicy Bacon Chevre Burger, “a big and juicy local grassfed beef burger with free-range smoked bacon coated in a brown sugar pepper glaze and baked until crispy, dripping with melty Chevre on a buttered toasted bun with piled with local greens, heirloom tomatoes and caramelized onions.”
Sponsored by the Portage Park District Foundation, the Annual Portage County Environmental Conservation Awards Dinner is held each April as an opportunity to honor and thank local environmental heroes while raising funds to support park district initiatives, fulfilling the mission to conserve Portage County’s natural and cultural heritage. Other award recipients represent achievement in Environmental Education, Environmental Activism and Advocacy, Lifetime Achievement and Stewardship, and Land Conservation.
The dinner, live music, silent auction and raffle will be held 6-9pm on April 5 at the Kent American Legion, 1945 Mogadore Road. Call the Portage County Park District at (330) 297-7728 for more information or visit www.portageparkdistrict.org to register online. For additional information, contact Chris Craycroft at (330) 297-7728 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Abbe Turner's hopeful voice echoed off the bare white walls of her future. Standing in an empty building, Turner confidently laid out her designs to convert the old Portage County Labor Temple in Kent into a cheese and candy factory. Turner and her husband, Anderson, who is the director of galleries for Kent State University's School of Art, began careful planning at their Garrettsville farm two years ago to open the Lucky Penny Creamery and begin producing small batches of handmade candy and cheeses.
Last week, two years later, the couple stood in an empty, graffiti-tagged building in Kent on the dead-end Temple Avenue off Lake Street, where they imagined sun-lit office space, climate-controlled processing rooms and a small corner dedicated to on-site retail sales. "We're hoping that fortune rewards the bold," Abbe Turner said. But the couple are not so bold as to forego traditional business planning.
They are getting help from the Akron SCORE office, which is a counseling partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration. The Turners also are working locally with the Kent Regional Business Allliance, and Kent-based architect Rick Hawksley is designing the renovations planned for the 6,000-square-foot building on 1.5 acres at 632 Temple Ave. Todd Packer, a small-business advisor for KRBA, has been working with the Turners since December on a range of topics from marketing to logistics management. "In our experience, the business success is very much tied to the commitment to doing business planning," Packer said. And for the Turners, planning begins with a single hay seed.
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by Matt Fredmonsky, The Record Courier
Kent – After years of dreaming and planning, a Portage County family is sharing the wholesome goodness from their dairy goat farm with neighbors far and wide....
by Estelle Brown, The Villager
This article appeared in the Mid-January 2011 edition of Ohio's Country Journal.
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Photo by Katherine Case Photography