In 1988, founder Jim Schott and his wife bought five goats (four does and a buck) and cultivated a modest 6-acre farmstead in Niwot, Colorado. Haystack Mountain lay in view just to the north, and after he'd made his first delicious chevre, Jim couldn't think of a better emblem for what he set out to build.
Jim incorporated the company in 1989 and started selling his homemade chevre to restaurants and farmers markets in and around Boulder County. Haystack Mountain goat cheeses first appeared in Alfalfa's markets in 1992, and Haystack won its first award the same year. In the mid-nineties Haystack cheeses came to the table in white-tablecloth restaurants. No doubt, Jim's humble, hand-wrought cheeses were finding appeal with a wider range of tastes.
The new millennium ushered in more and more orders for Haystack's expanding menu of cheeses. The first raw milk cheese was made in 2002. Two years later, Haystack opened its creamery in Longmont, and in 2005, Haystacks products started appearing in some of the nation's finest cheese cases. In 2006, Haystack began making cow milk cheeses. They now make 35 cheeses with 8 from cow's milk. The cow's milk is obtained from Longmont Dairy and Aurora Organic Dairy. By 2007, we'd expanded our creamery to keep up with demand, and the next year we began purchasing goat milk from our new partners at the Skyline Correctional Facility dairy in Canon City. In 2016 Haystack opened it's second plant in the Weaver Park industrial area in order to increase production. CCI closed the farm in mid 2019. The goat milk is now obtained from two Amish farms in the San Luis Valley.
In November 2017, at the World Cheese Competition in London, England, Haystack's newest cheese, Gold Hill, won a Gold Medal in it's class, than was selected as a Top 60 and won a Super Gold. The cheeses were divided into continents and Gold Hill was proclaimed as the "Best Cheese in America"! Gold Hill has become the signature cheese of Haystack.
Haystack is pleased to offer private creamery tours to the public. Tours are available on a scheduled basis and are approximately two hours long. They feature a behind-the-scenes look the creamery, an overview of the fundamentals of making artisan cheese, and a guided cheese tasting featuring Haystack's finest cheeses, spanning a variety of styles.
The cost for a private tour is a minimum of $100 for up to 10 people, plus $10 for each additional person beyond 10. The tours are a fun and educational experience and are perfect for school groups, corporate team building events, community groups and senior outings. The facility is fully ADA compliant and mobility challenges are not an issue.