Frolicking Goat was launched in February 2016 by Peter Schwenke and Lyndall Josey. We produce handmade goat cheese in Brisbane, Queensland.
In 2011, Peter and Lyndall made the decision that Peter should do something in food as a career change. Our friends and family have always enjoyed eating at our place. A lot of ideas were discussed. We had thought of baked German cheesecakes like his Mum makes. However, buying good quality cheese was uneconomical. Peter has been making Panir for many years – how hard can it be? So making cheese was investigated. Peter bought Neil Willman’s Home Cheesemaking book and produced some edible results. Cheesemaking is a very involved and difficult process. Peter was fascinated by it.
After trying to find a suitable course, we found Neil Willman’s New Zealand Cheese School in Putaruru, New Zealand. This ran in conjunction with Over The Moon Dairy. Peter spent around 1 month in New Zealand doing some of the modules and gaining practical experience in the factory. Some of the modules were done by correspondence. Peter completed his New Zealand Cheesemaster qualification from the New Zealand Cheese School in 2012.
Lyndall had expressed an interested to have goats as pets. This could all work together.
In October 2012, Peter and Lyndall travelled to France and visited 4 farmstead cheesemakers in the Poitou-Charentes region. The visits were arranged by Claire and Martine at Route du Chabichou, an association for the development and promotion of goat cheese. We learned about, an fell in love with, the cheeses made by French farmers. We decided that this was something we could do.
In June 2013, Peter travelled to France and spent 1 month with one of the cheesemakers we visited in 2012. Peter learned a lot during that month. Peter travelled to towns like Valençay, Selles-Sur-Cher, Vouvray,
While Peter was in France, Lyndall had picked out the first of her 6 pets from Even’ Star dairy at Tarampa. One of those was Jessy-Joy who was pregnant and would give us our first experience of kidding and having a lactating doe.
When Peter returned we picked up the “girls” and work commenced on the factory.
Through the Australian Specialist Cheesemakers Association, Peter has attended seminars by the French cheesemaker and educator, Ivan Larcher. Ivan has also visited us. The knowledge gained from Ivan has been invaluable.
After a lot of heartache with equipment and set-up we received our accreditation in February 2016 and began selling cheese at the markets. The cheese received a lot of praise from customers.
We entered the Bûche and Bûche Noir in the national Dairy Industry Association of Australia (DIAA) awards. In May 2016, we received a gold medal for each of those cheeses. The Bûche was awarded the Cheetham Salt Award for the highest scoring non-bovine product.
Later in 2016, we were asked to enter the Bûche and Bûche Noir in the Australian Grand Dairy Awards – like a finals series of gold medal winners. All of the non-bovine cheeses are put in 1 category. The Bûche made it into the final – i.e. the top 3.
We will soon be adding to our range of cheeses.