When Amy Marcoot was growing up, her parents would host her kindergarten class on their family dairy farm in Greenville, Illinois, to teach the ins and outs of agriculture. Today, she and her sister, Beth, are carrying on that mission at Marcoot Jersey Creamery, the artisan cheese company they launched in 2010, and its Country Store.
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Cheese: With 22 different varieties on offer, cheese is the backbone of Marcoot’s operation. In addition to fan favorites, such as cheese curds, Tipsy Cheddar (made with Schlafly Beer Pale Ale), cave-aged Gouda and creamy Havarti, the store offers guests a chance to test out new cheeses – the recent Coffee Cheddar made in collaboration with Park Avenue Coffee in St. Louis is quite enticing.
Extreme Ice: The Marcoot sisters first released Whey Ice, made with fresh whey and crushed fruit, last year, but tweaked the recipe after working with a few MLB teams and sports dieticians. Extreme Ice has whey isolate added back in for a whopping 20 grams of protein in a single 5-ounce container. With a consistency similar to shaved ice, Extreme Ice is available in strawberry, strawberry-banana and mango flavors.
Fresh Ice Cream: Marcoot’s store is the only place you can find its ice cream, available in vanilla, chocolate and strawberry flavors. All three are always on offer, but guests return for seasonal and rotating flavors such as Butter Brickle, Creamsicle and Mudslide.
Guided tours are offered Monday through Friday at 1pm and on Saturday at 11am, where guests can pet baby calves, step up to a robotic milking barn, watch the cheesemaking process and, of course, sample a bunch of cheese.
“People want to understand where their food comes from,” Amy says. “They can come and see the whole process from the animals eating grass out on the pasture to the animals being milked to the cheese being made – it really creates a full experience for people, and we appreciate the trust that it builds with the public.”
Marcoot Jersey Creamery, 526 Dudleyville Road, Greenville, Illinois, 618.664.1110, marcootjerseycreamery.com