Mar 15th 2024

Women's History Month Feature: Interview with Blakesville Creamery's Veronica Pedraza

To honor Women’s History Month, we’ve decided to feature a few of our favorite woman-owned brands throughout the month of March in the hopes of putting a well-deserved spotlight on some amazing products and amazing women.

The award winning Blakesville Creamery in Port Washington, Wisconsin offers a stunning variety of styles of goat cheeses, from lightly washed rind cheeses to aged tommes. Blakesville is a farmstead creamery, meaning that their cheeses are made by hand on the same farm where their animals are raised and where their milk is collected – all while using sustainable farming methods.

Below are five questions we asked Blakesville Creamery’s Head of Operations and Head Cheesemaker Veronica Pedraza, and her thoughtful responses.

  • What attracted you to work at Blakesville Creamery?
    • The opportunity to design and operate my own creamery. The chance to move back to the Midwest.
  • What inspires you when it comes to creating a cheese product?
    • I've always prided myself on making cheeses that are/were lacking in the marketplace/cheese case due to logistics and supply chain issues. I want to make cheeses that mongers want to sell and I want to make cheese that make mongers think of me.

  • Have you had any female role models that made a big impact on your career?
    • Anne Saxelby. I read her blog religiously before I worked for her and I was always inspired by the fact that she really did not care what other people thought about her business. At the time she started, almost everyone told her that she could never operate a business with only American cheeses. She did what she wanted to do and if you didn't like it, you could just keep moving on. She also had a business ethos that you should only work with people you like and I've tried to follow that path as much as I can. But she helped me get a job at Jasper Hill and then she was the first to carry my cheeses at Meadowood and also Blakesville. Getting her approval helped convince others to take a chance on me.
  • What has operating a business taught you?
    • To trust my instincts about cheese, people, and business decisions.
  • What woman inspires you and why?
    • To be honest, my grandmother. She instilled in me my work ethic and fierce determination. She endured a lot of things in her life and never took it on the chin – she just kept going. She was unsure of my choice to be a cheesemaker (she wanted me to be a writer) but also my biggest cheerleader, albeit a quiet one. I try to make her proud every day.

Women Owned, a non-profit dedicated to advancing the success of certified women-owned businesses in the United States and across the globe, posits that “when you support Women Owned businesses, you are investing in women’s economic empowerment, gender parity in commerce, vibrant communities, and the growth of the economy overall.”