Sawatch Artisan Foods

It's All About Knowing Where Our Food Comes From

There is something about knowing where your food comes from that is pretty neat. In our modern age, commerce and demand dictate that speed and efficiency are what is necessary to provide a consumer what it needs. We know what we want, and we want it now. And for the sake of convenience, we have separated ourselves from the process itself which has allowed us to make concessions when it comes to flavor or quality.

It’s a whole other experience to be able to sit down across from another person and talk to them about where your food comes from. To sit down with someone who is such an integral part of the process and hear their passion for your food is humbling. Eating is an activity that ultimately sustains life and one that most of us engage in multiple times a day without thinking much about it. There are so many moving parts required to put food on a plate. To understand that someone has made a job, career, passion, project or a lifestyle of creating food from its origin and taking it to the highest possible quality to be presented on a plate of some of our most famous chefs and then also made it a point to bring this product into the home of a consumer is exciting.

That excitement, passion and drive exists right here in Colorado Springs.

Slowing Down

In search of the highest quality, owner Jennifer Gomez looked to the European style of making cheese and butter. This particular style does not care that you are in a hurry – it refuses to sacrifice quality for the sake of time. Instead it focuses on a low-and-slow method, yielding a higher butterfat content. This butterfat content increases creaminess and flavor.

This was it – This was the method she was looking for to elevate the local diaries and their products. It came from the opportunity to create a space for a product and care about the structure from a molecular level.

What is even more impressive is that Jennifer didn’t stop with high quality food.

Close to Home

The manufacturing plant in which the milk is processed is located a mere ten minutes away from the dairy itself. Fresh, raw milk is delivered daily for the production of butter and cheeses and is done so at a minimal shipping cost while also decreasing emissions. As Sawatch doesn’t have much need for a “skim” milk, the excess water from the leftover milk undergoes a reverse-osmosis process to become the potable water used to clean the Sawatch facilities.

There’s more. Once that water goes down the drain, it is reclaimed, cleaned, and treated again. They send that water through a two-mile pipeline developed specifically for this purpose and that water ends up in a lagoon on a small local farm. The farmer of that particular farm specializes in crops that are harvested specifically to feed the cows on the original dairy farm.   

 All of this started in 2017-18 after a meeting with a big-box consumer. Jennifer and her husband Tim walked away from an opportunity knowing that it would not be representative of their personal beliefs. In the following few years, they researched and sourced equipment from Europe and started experimenting with recipes. By 2019 they started seeing their first batches of cheese and by the beginning of 2020 they had honed those recipes and were ready to roll out their product to local restaurants.

Quick Shift

They were set to launch to their bulk consumers in April of 2020 when the world hiccupped. Orders for restaurants were cancelled as they were being shut down due to the pandemic. Jennifer surveyed her situation and decided to pivot instead of folding. Although the long-term goal was to market direct-to-consumer, she made it her short-term goal and packed up her product to showcase at a farmer’s market or two. She amped up her online presence and started getting the word out that there was a new artisan product on the market at a reasonable price point for a home consumer to enjoy.

Jennifer is not stopping any time soon, either. Ice cream is in the works as well as a lactose-free, barista milk. She is working on incorporating compound butters and, of course, about eight more cheeses. Another addition coming in Spring 2022 is a brick-and-mortar establishment serving as a retail, tasting and production facility designed to allow consumers to be more involved in experiencing their food.

Stop by a local retailer or order online to experience local European-style dairy products and how they can transform your kitchen.

Website: https://www.sawatchartisanfoods.com/
Facebook + Instagram: @sawatchartisanfoods

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