The importance of family—traditions, support, hard work and unity—is what struck me as my son, Matthew, and I got to know the Rand Family.
Tucked away in the farmlands of the Annapolis Valley lies the home of a sixth-generation family farm. Fox Hill Cheese House is owned and operated by Jeanita and Rick Rand, their daughter, Melissa (the cheese-maker), and their son Patrick and his wife Megan.
Jeanita spoke with immense pride as she told me the story of the farm and how it began in the 1800’s. It has grown over the last century to produce not only milk (although produced very differently than it was so many years ago), but cheese, yogurt, and gelato.
Each addition of a new product carries its own story of how it came to be – from the elderly lady who came knocking one Autumn evening telling the Rands about a cheese maker who was going out of business to the Italian woman who taught the family how to make gelato.
Each story, though, holds one common theme: the Rand family’s desire to produce excellent quality products for our families using strictly the milk from their own herd. They “plant the seed to grow the grass, milk the cow and make specialty products for YOU.”
Like all families, they were challenged many times with the decision to expand and all that goes with it. As Jeanita told me the story, though, the growth of the farm and expansion of its operations to serve the local community from their store in Port Williams to the market in Wolfville to the Seaport Farmers’ Market in Halifax was a very natural progression.
One of the newest products on their list is gelato, with flavours galore! This was easily Matthew’s favourite part as he tried several before he made his mind up on the Pound Cake.
If your family is anything like mine, dairy products are consumed on a daily basis at every meal.
With one simple visit to Fox Hill, I was able to spruce up and spice up every meal of the day from the morning smoothies using Fox Hill vanilla yogurt, to lunch with the classic bottled chocolate milk, to our evening meal of pork with melted jalapeno gouda and a fresh green salad topped with cheese curds.
Any way you slice it, Fox Hill is an amazing, local, family-oriented business that is dedicated to producing quality dairy products. If you are not already a fan, I recommend swinging by their shop in Port Williams or their Halifax location to try something Gouda (pun intended).