13 January 2016

Going Local with Best Baa Dairy

At the Stone Store we pride ourselves on having the most interesting and best quality local suppliers, so we decided to use this blog as a way to share the stories of a few small businesses who have products we think you'll LOVE!

Ewenity Dairy: Best Baa Sheep Milk 

 Nicole Bzikot, the Plant Manager at Best Baa in Fergus ON, told us that Best Baa began in 2001 as a "retirement" project for Elisabeth and Eric Bzikot (her parents-in-law) who recognized there was a niche market for sheep milk products.  Sheep milk is often easier to digest because it is very close in constitution to human milk.  Plus, it's loaded in calcium, protein, CLA, and vitamins A,D and E in formats your body can absorb.
Their 2 feature products are sheep yogurt and feta (both of which we carry!)
The Bzikots, who farm just north of Arthur, ON were founding members of the Ewenity Dairy Co-operative.  The co-op is made up of 10+ family farms, who share similar values on animal and environmental stewardship.  Many are Amish or Mennonite farms.  Like many rural Ontarians, the Bzikots believe that viable family farms are the backbone of rural communities.  They are SMALL and do not have intentions to grow.  (Sounds a bit like us!)  All members of the co-op send their sheep milk to the Best Baa dairy to be processed and distributed.

Most farms in the co-op breed British Milk Sheep or crosses thereof.  When masses of Britain's sheep were culled over the last 2 decades because of the BSE ("mad cow") scare and the Foot and Mouth epidemic, it left Ewenity Dairy Co-op with one of the largest concentrations of purebred British Milk Sheep in the world.  That in itself is a feat worth supporting.
Most of all, we like Best Baa because they make small batches of quality products from a small geographical area, but it is all done with big hearts.

If you would like to know more about Best Baa Dairy including bio's of all the member farms, check out their website www.bestbaa.com.