Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese AnniversaryWith a significant anniversary in 2020 you might have expected Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company to have thrown a big party, in commemoration of all the Giacomini family has accomplished since 1959, when founders Bob and Dean bought their dairy farm alongside Tomales Bay. Explains Jill Giacomini Basch, who helped launch the award-winning creamery with her sisters and parents back in 2000, “with our specialty cheese community far from pre-pandemic normal, as well as the continued uncertainty with our food service business, it felt right to celebrate simply through showing gratitude for how far we’ve come. So we focused on a much different celebration than we had originally planned, one we feel is more meaningful.”
Today the company is WBENC Certified Women-Owned by sisters Jill, Lynn Stray and Diana Hagan. Their story of converting the family dairy farm into a highly successful and critically-acclaimed artisan cheese creamery with two manufacturing locations is compelling enough, but the Co-CEOs wanted this important year to stand for more than just how long they’ve been in business. Because a party wasn’t an option, the sisters chose to celebrate-through-art – symbolizing appreciation for their employees, their customers and their commitment to sustainability.
“Employees are first for a reason,” says Jill. “Our people get it. Whether on the farm, in the creamery, in the office or out in the marketplace – they are committed to the company’s success and it shows, day in and day out.” She adds, “Quite simply, we wouldn’t be here today without them.”
Giving gratitude for the company’s customers is also an important focus of the commemoration. “For 20 years we not only established loyal cheese fans, but more importantly, made lifelong friendships and enduring industry partnerships, with the multitude of benefits felt far beyond the walls of our business. It has been especially meaningful to us that our customers’ support has helped to sustain our local community, --ensuring jobs, preserving cheese traditions and enriching CA agriculture” explains Lynn.
In addition, the sisters share a commitment to the local environment, both natural and business, as their way to make sure new generations can enjoy and be inspired by the natural beauty and delicious flavors of the region. “Sustainability – in how we farm, how we make cheese and how we deliver our products to market, has always been a top priority for us,” says Diana “but continuing to embrace innovation ultimately demonstrates --to our employees, customers, community and the planet, that our company’s purpose doesn’t end with our leadership,” says Diana.
The Giacomini sisters commissioned renowned graphic artist Michael Schwab to create a piece of original artwork to commemorate the 20th anniversary. “This project was special,” said Schwab. “The region, and the cheese, is near and dear to me.” The design fits well with some of Schwab’s other works created for nearby landmarks such as Muir Woods and Marin Headlands. Jill explained their reaction to the art, “Michael gave tribute to our two decades in cheese through representing our sense of place: Point Reyes, Marin County, California. He captured not only our home, our heritage and legacy of dairy farming on Tomales Bay, but the greatness of what a simple milk can represents to us: wholesome, natural goodness that continues to sustain us, our employees and our community.”