River Valley Cheese: Handmade Cheese and Happiness
- Love and take care of those who enter our doors and our lives
- Remain curious and learn so that we can walk with empathy and practice compassion
- Play and laugh and create a safe place to express creativity
In return, to all who enter our classroom, we ask you to live those few hours in mindful respect for humanity. Those moments are precious. We laugh, we play, and we
connect. In those moments, we are sharing the most human parts of ourselves.
Thank you for coming to play with us!
"I've learned that people will forget what you said,
people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them
"My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be
How did I start my career in handmade cheese? For starters, I am a great cheese eater! But, let's start at the beginning.
Well, I will tell you a secret I don't share with many people.
I grew up in Bremerton. Now, my fellow Bremertonians, I am sure you are happy to live there. It is the cosmopolitan center of the Peninsula, home to Sir Mixalot, MXPX, and the former home of the USS Missouri. However, I was infected with Footloose's "small town" virus. I wanted to experience Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
As soon as I graduated high school, I trekked all over the west. Living in Los Angeles and Dallas gave me the metropolitan flavor I longed to experience. (And, by living in Dallas, I can now use "y'all" unabashedly!) But, living in those cities also highlighted something missing. However, every time I would fly into Sea-Tac, a lump would form in my throat while we soared over the Puget Sound and tipped a wing at Mt. Rainier. And it was done. I decided the big lights of Seattle from Alki Beach suited me just fine. And as a result, I moved back, and my love affair with the PNW flourished.
One day, I looked up from my computer and realized I had forgotten something.
I went on a journey, so quiet and so slow, a snail could have been my valet.
But, one day, I looked up from my computer and realized I had forgotten. Something. Something from a long time ago. So long ago, I could only see the shadows, like cloudy images cast on a dark screen. So, I went on a journey. Not a "burn it all" trip where I packed up my bags and hiked a mountain trail. Not an adventure where I traveled the world in a whirlwind of spices and prayer. Nothing so bold and exciting as that.
I became curious, devoured books, bought clever web domains, binged on Netflix, walked my dog, took pictures, and drank Bailey's on Saturday mornings. I spent the entire day outside planting in the rain. Until, one day, I realized I had been practicing, training, and gaining strength for three years.
I was learning how to play. I realized how critical play and creativity bring humanity together. Finally, I decided to climb off the corporate ladder at that moment. And that I was ready for a mountain. My mountain. And I here I climb and play.
Welcome to River Valley Cheese: A School of Curiosity.