May 12, 2020
The New York Times, 09/27/00
Beyond wines, the Farm Coast produces a dream list of high-quality ingredients, but most of what is grown here never leaves home. Marketing has always been the biggest stumbling block for farmers, but those who have learned that it is essential are making a living. A few, like Tim and Tina Stone of Great Hill Dairy, are doing very well.
The Stones couldn’t earn a living as dairy farmers, so they looked for something more, what is called in business a value-added product.
”We got into cheese because we couldn’t make it otherwise,” said Mr. Stone, a tall, lanky man, who leases his land, part of 500 magnificent acres on the shore of Buzzards Bay in Marion once owned by his great-grandfather. ”When our two sons were born, we knew we wanted to find another way to stay here and live on a farm.”
Mr. Stone gave up a career as an engineer to make Great Hill Blue, a fine aged blue cheese with a full, mellow flavor and a national reputation. ”The Marion General Store was the first place that bought our cheese,” he said. ”I peddled it myself.”
Now, it has a following that includes Kevin Tyldesley, who chooses the cheeses for Gramercy Tavern in Manhattan. ”This is a lot more subtle than Roquefort,” he said, ”but it’s not a dumbed down cheese. It’s very complex.”
In 1993, the Stones sold 12,000 pounds of the rich raw milk cheese; they expect to top 52,000 pounds this year.