I first saw Jennifer Lynn Bice at the California State Fair in Sacramento. She was, as you might expect, tending her goats. It was 1991, maybe a year later, perhaps even 1990.
I don’t recall if the blue ribbons displayed were from that year or ones gathered from previous competitions. But what I can recall exactly was that her disarming smile and modesty, something I thought strangely appropriate for a someone who was making goat cheese for a mostly yet to be discovered marketplace. Yet she wasn’t doing it for the money, she was doing it for the love of it.
From those humble beginnings, to acknowledged leadership among the now booming artisan cheese market, Bice is still modest, and from what we’re told, still in Sacramento every year exhibiting with her prized goats. And like many of the profiles here, Bice’s passion was matched with business acumen for steady growth. No burnt out star with these goats.
Here’s to the farmer in us all, those who farm and those who love what they produce, especially when it tastes like Redwood Hill.