Marlo Stein and Archer Meier started Round Table Farm in 2021 as the new stewards of the historic Robinson Farm in Hardwick, Massachusetts. Both proud queer and Jewish farmers who are passionate about building community, crafting beautiful products, and working in tandem with the land, they make small-batch, raw milk, aged cheeses that defy labels. Read on to learn more about Round Table Farm.
What brought you to this business?
We have both been farming for many years and knew that at one point we wanted to run a creamery. Cheesemaking appealed to us because it was a venture that fosters collaboration with many different businesses in the food industry (restaurants, farm stands, cheese shops, etc.) while also creating more financial viability for small dairy farms. Finding the Robinson Farm for sale made it all possible much sooner than we had anticipated! The Robinson Family had stewarded this land for five generations and the next one wasn’t interested in continuing the farm. We feel so humbled to get to continue their legacy of growing, grazing, and cheesemaking on this property.
What makes you excited about your cheeses?
Our products are very unique in the cheese world! We say that we make cheeses that defy labels – although we use recipes for traditional styles of cheese, we rely heavily on our own intuition, as opposed to traditional expectations, to make cheeses that we’re proud to share. We love the experimentation and close observation that cheesemaking requires and are constantly tweaking our methods to make the highest quality cheeses we can!
How has the FCCDC helped you?
The FCCDC has helped us access so many resources that have helped prepare our business for the growth of our third year in operation. The greatest resource has been the Wholesale Readiness Program that we attended this past winter. The program helped us fill so many gaps in our business management knowledge. With a background in farming, there were many aspects of marketing, customer relations, and financial planning that I had not been exposed to. This program gave me the confidence to connect with larger buyers and to increase our production to further expand into the wholesale market.
What are you looking forward to in the coming year?
In the coming year, we are focused on making our creamery more of a “Community Creamery” that can support multiple small dairy farms in various capacities. We hope to increase our cheese production so that we can purchase more milk from our partner dairy farm at a premium price, while also adding a co-packing operation so we can produce value-added dairy products for businesses that don’t have dairy processing infrastructure. Creameries throughout history have been a community effort, with all the local farmers providing the milk to the cheesemakers of the region, and we hope to continue that history here in Central Mass.
How can people find your products?
We are very excited that sign-ups are open until the end of June for the next box in our Queer Cheese Subscription! Round Table Farm, and our cheeses, are deeply influenced by our own queerness and the subscription is an opportunity for our community to receive our tried-and-true cheeses, exclusive new cheeses, as well as unique pairings four times a year. Our products can also be found at all Provisions locations (Amherst, Northampton, and Longmeadow), as well as several small farm stores and specialty stores in the region. All of our wholesale partners can be found on our website.