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Gouda is very versatile. Perfect for picnics, cheese plates, burgers, pizza and more.
Emma Bello, who grew up in Wahiawā, remembers visiting her aunt’s cow dairy in Tillamook, Ore. as a kid on summer breaks. Her aunt also had Nigerian dwarves, a miniature dairy goat breed that became popular pets because of their size and gentle demeanor.
“They were so adorable,” she says. “I never thought about [raising] goats then, but I thought they were pretty cool.”
When she was a student in the culinary program at Leeward Community College a few years ago, Bello got a summer job working at the Surfing Goat Dairy in Kula, Maui. That’s when it became clear: “I loved goats,” she says. “I realized I didn’t want to be in a kitchen all day. I knew I wanted to pursue this.”
She earned more experience at Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery in Sebastopol, Calif., an award-winning goat dairy farm and creamery that specializes in artisanal goat cheese, yogurt and kefir (a fermented milk drink). It was from this farm—and Kaua‘i Kunana Dairy—that she got her first goats.
Bello now runs Sweet Land Farm, the only certified goat dairy on O‘ahu, which sprawls across 86 acres of old pineapple land in Waialua. Right now, she has more than 60 goats of various breeds, including Alpine, La Mancha, Kiko and Nubian.
Bello produces handmade farmstead goat cheese—called chèvre—aged feta, and goat-milk products here. She sells her various flavors of spreadable chèvre—sun-dried tomato, roasted garlic, olive and, the most popular, green onion.
Written by: Catherine Toth Fox