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Local creamery awarded grant aimed at stabilizing, expanding dairy industry 

Local creamery awarded grant aimed at stabilizing, expanding dairy industry

Avery Jones.

Shooting Star Creamery to use funding to help evolve operations, adopt more sustainable practices

– Dairy processors along the Pacific Coast are receiving investments that will strengthen the industry’s resilience, and Shooting Star Creamery of Paso Robles was one of the grant winners. The Pacific Coast Coalition – Dairy Business Innovation Initiative, hosted by California State University, Fresno, has awarded $521,764 in grant funding to 12 dairy companies in California, Oregon and Washington. Each awardee is receiving up to $50,000, dependent on their submitted budget, for equipment-related investments.

Shooting Star Creamery began when Central Coast Creamery owner, Reggie Jones, asked his daughter, Avery Jones, if she wanted to try her hand at artisan cheese making. They soon set up a separate creamery that was based on Central Coast Creamery to allow Avery to take risks with the cheese as well as to have something to base her recipes on. They called this company Shooting Star Creamery to reflect on their belief of shooting for the stars. Avery Jones is a college student who has been helping her father make cheese for nearly half of her life. She started making cheese to pay for her college education and will be also giving a percent of the profits to veterans and amputees to give back to the community.

“I am extremely excited and grateful to be receiving a grant of $29,000!” said Avery, “This is really going to help me grow the business by allowing Shooting Star Creamery to make and market more cheese. Thank you so much Pacific Coast Coalition for helping small dairy businesses to succeed!” This grant will be used for purchasing a plate heat exchanger that will heat the milk to 145 degrees F on the way to the cheese vat. This will speed up the cheesemaking process and allow Avery to make 50% more cheese in the same amount of time.

“Not only will these grants help businesses optimize their processes and innovate their products, but the West Coast region is building a stronger dairy presence,” said PCC-DBII Project Director Carmen Licon Cano, Ph.D., “Each grant will result in time-saving equipment that develops new offerings, creates jobs and increases profitability.”

“By investing in new and existing products, the PCC-DBII awarded grants facilitate entrepreneurship and increase the availability of innovative cheese, butter, yogurt and ice cream products both regionally and nationally,” said Dr. Susan Pheasant, Director of the
Institute for Food and Agriculture and “cowkeeper” for the The Pacific Coast Coalition – Dairy Business Innovation Initiative. “These grant winners are driving economic sustainability and growth through their high-quality dairy foods.”

“The Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives have made significant impacts to the dairy industry and the agricultural economy as a whole,” said USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffitt. “This funding will allow the Pacific Coast Coalition – Dairy Business Innovation Initiative to continue to develop critical relationships with California, Oregon and Washington dairy producers and processors to support their on-the-ground needs.”

All of California’s grant winners include:

  • Foggy Bottoms Boys (Ferndale); Nicasio Valley Cheese (Nicasio); Petit Pot (Emeryville); Point
  • Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co. (Point Reyes); Shooting Star Creamery (Paso Robles);
  • Stepladder Creamery (Cambria); Valley Ford Cheese & Creamery (Valley Ford)

 

 

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The news staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote or edited this story from local contributors and press releases. The news staff can be reached at info@pasoroblesdailynews.com.