In 2014, after more than 30 years of military life, Simon and Hellene Lamb, took a leap of faith and turned Simon’s cheese making hobby into a small business. It took grit, determination, passion and more than a few mistakes to get to where they are today. Not only did they decide to use goat milk, which needs really gentle handling but they wanted to choose to focus on minimal processing, traditional French cheese making methods and delivering real flavour.
Thanks to their love of challenges and incredible work ethic, (5.30am starts and long days 6 days a week) Cranky Goat have built a strong reputation for delicious unique cheese with an exceptionally high standard.
They produce a remarkable number of products for the size of their operation including fresh Chevre, washed rind cheese, a delicious firmer tomme style and their iconic ash covered pyramid named Reginald, after Hellenes grandfather. In fact if you delve deeper in to the names of their cheese they all have a story, a familial link or a geographical tie, giving the cheese a real sense of place.
Initially the magic happened in a small room at the back of their house in the beautiful Marlborough sounds but in 2022 they took another leap of faith and moved to bigger premises in Blenheim, allowing them to increase production and maybe even add a new cheese or 2 to the range.
Like sheep, goats are usually dried off over winter, but rather than taking winters off this enterprising couple created a sister brand, aptly called Mooody Cow (yep 3 o’s) and using their beloved goat milk recipes began making cow’s milk cheese from Oaklands A2 skim milk.
It is a real family affair with their daughter Hannah doing much of the marketing including the mammoth task of organising the New Zealand Cheese Festival and their oldest daughter Rhianne helping out with sales and markets, trade shows etc. Their grandchildren are keen taste testers and always ready with the type of honest feedback that only kids (pun intended) can give.