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 .