Hugh has been carrying on about global microbrands, of late. While such entities are rapidly multiplying online, it’s neat to learn about the old school variety, from time to time.
The New York Times: The beauty of Diane St. Clair’s pasture beneath the Green Mountains draws the occasional tourist. But Ms. St. Clair recalls one who stood out. She was wearing Gucci shoes. And she wanted to photograph the cows.
The woman had dined at the French Laundry, Thomas Keller’s renowned restaurant in the Napa Valley in California. When customers there, and at Mr. Keller’s Per Se restaurant in the Time Warner Center in New York, ask the source of the rich, tangy cultured butter on the table, they are told it comes from Ms. St. Clair’s “special cows” in Vermont.
But Ms. St. Clair, 49, said of her visitor, “I think she thought I was made up.”
After reading about Mr. Keller, she wrote to ask if he would taste it. His response startled her.
“He wanted all the butter I could send him,” Ms. St. Clair said. Every Monday she sends his restaurants about 50 pounds of the 60 she makes each week. She ships a small amount to the restaurant at the Keyah Grande hotel in Pagosa Springs, Colo., and sells the rest at the Middlebury Natural Food Co-op.
“When you’re small you can have a relationship with the people who buy your food,” Ms. St. Clair said. “The reason I’m not big is because I’m a perfectionist. I’ve got to sell to someone who is the same way.”