14 Crowley Ln., Healdville, Vermont
At the country’s oldest cheese factory, Colby cheddar cheese is still made by hand, just as it was a hundred years ago. Visitors can see the curds being cut and raked in the big vats, then handworked and formed in hand-cranked presses. The tools, techniques, and product haven’t changed.
The factory was built by Winfield Crowley in 1882, when his business outgrew the farm kitchen where he had by then been making cheese for almost 60 years. The establishment today is still redolent of the less hurried, more peaceful time when it got its start. A collection of old cheesemaking tools—curd knives, a cheese press, and a centrifuge—is on display. You can sample the product or buy it at the gift shop, along with candy, maple syrup, jams, and baked goods. Crowley is one of many cheese factories found on the Vermont Cheese Trail.
Factory open Mon.–Fri.; shop open daily.