Ewes Guys, LLC, doing business as Twenty Paces, will open its new farmstead sheep and goat’s milk cheese production and processing facility in Albemarle County, Virginia.
The company, which focuses on high-quality, sustainably-made products, will invest $321,000 in a facility at Bellair Farms and create seven new jobs. With a newly renovated and expanded creamery, Twenty Paces will produce high-quality sheep and goat’s milk, as well as process, age, and distribute farmstead cheeses for a rapidly growing artisanal cheese market in the U.S.
Twenty Paces will also produce grass-fed lamb and goat meat for restaurants and specialty food retailers in the Commonwealth and along the East Coast. Twenty Paces will use 100% Virginia-grown sheep and goat’s milk for its products.
The Commonwealth is partnering with Albemarle County and Twenty Paces on this project through the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund. Governor McAuliffe approved an $11,000 grant from the AFID Fund to assist with the project and Albemarle County will provide an $11,000 cash match.
“Twenty Paces is honored to be recognized by Albemarle County and the Governor through this AFID grant,” said Kyle Kilduff, Co-owner of Twenty Paces. “Their support, as well as the support of Bellair Farm Owner, Cynthia Davis, and farm Manager, Jamie Barrett, helps ensure the success of Twenty Paces in Virginia’s growing artisanal cheese industry. Twenty Paces is committed and proud to carry on the family farm and entrepreneurial tradition through farmstead cheese production and management-intensive grazing. These practices improve pasture, produce flavorful milk and cheese, and also lower our cost of production, allowing us to provide jobs in our community through a sustainable business model for years to come.”
Governor Terry McAuliffe stated, “I am pleased to announce that Twenty Paces will open this new artisanal cheese production facility in Albemarle County, furthering Virginia’s reputation as a leader in the specialty food industry and helping to build the new Virginia economy. With this announcement, we continue to realize the benefits of fully integrating agriculture and forestry into the state’s strategic economic development platform. Supporting entrepreneurs with unique business models is another way for Virginia to grow and diversify our economy.”
“Twenty Paces’ investment in this facility is the result of creative entrepreneurs engaged with a supportive community, and the partnership at Bellair Farms is a model for how new local, sustainable agriculture can work,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore, who represented Governor McAuliffe at the announcement.”