Crooked Face Creamery Wheys It Forward

One Maine artisan is cutting food waste by upcycling a by-product of her world-class cheeses
Words By Alexandra Hall

Sometimes, what comes around truly does go around. Take cheese‑ ­maker/-monger Amy Rowbottom, who grew up on a dairy farm in Norridgewock and now owns Crooked Face Creamery in Skowhegan. Knowing that reducing food waste is one of the straightest routes to minimizing our carbon footprint, she donates the whey generated by making her cheeses—the likes of rich smoked ricottas and nutty applewood-smoked Goudas—to nearby Running Wild Farm, where they feed it to their pigs and chickens.

Crooked Face Creamery owner Amy Rowbottom handcrafts small-batch cheeses at her Skowhegan facility.

“There are so many proteins that result from the cheesemaking process that are great for animals’ diets,” she says. “Whey is nutrient-rich, and it completes a circle of using milk from local farms to make my cheeses and then passing on the results to help another one.”

The creamery is best known for smoked ricottas, smoked herb butters, and earthy, well-balanced cheeses.
Amy donates the whey, a by-product of cheesemaking, to local farms to feed livestock.
Bernadette, a washed-rind cow’s-milk cheese, gets aged in the creamery’s cave.

Deepening that circle, you’ll find Running Wild Farm’s pork in cases next to Amy’s award-winning raclettes and garlic-rosemary ricotta at her one-woman facility and shop. Buy some there, in specialty shops around Maine, or at, and use them to boost everything from charcuterie boards to homemade gnocchi.

Discover More