There are scores of establishments serving handmade goat’s cheese, but very few are making their own with local goat’s milk. Larry and Anne Maguire saw a niche in the market and now chefs in the west are clamouring for their Galway Goat’s Milk.
It’s rich and creamy and comes in a retro glass bottle – Galway Goat’s Milk comes from Gurteen near Dunmore in North Galway. The goats in question are the frisky Anglo Nubians and the more genteel Saanens. The Maguires are currently milking 21 of them every day at their purpose-built barn and dairy at their home. They hope to make that up to 28 goats next year to keep up with demand.
“We distribute from Glenamaddy in the north of the county, to Clarinbridge west to Moycullen and as far east as Athenry,” says Larry.
He and his wife, Anne, both have backgrounds in sales and marketing, which has obviously helped them to spread the word about their milk.
“We use social media and we also make sure to enter awards so we can get our name out there. We were delighted to win Gold at Blas na h’Eireann last year, because dairy is a really tough category,” says Anne.
Some of the most renowned chefs in Galway city are taking regular deliveries of the milk and the new Creamy Style Goat’s Yoghurt.
[quote_box_center]In a health store in Tuam, the yoghurt goes into takeaway lassi drinks.[/quote_box_center]
“It’s really rich and creamy,” says Larry. “We strain it a few times to get that, which is labour intensive, but it makes for far superior yoghurt.”
The team at the Michelin-starred Aniar are making goat’s milk panna cotta and ice cream as well as goat’s curd. Larry says Ard Bia are making a halloumi style cheese from the milk. Rustic Grub and Dillisk restaurant in Connemara are both making simple fresh cheeses.
The yoghurt is also being used in Aniar’s sister restaurants, Eat at Massimo’s and Cava Bodega. 37 West will be using it as well.
In a health store in Tuam, the yoghurt goes into takeaway lassi drinks.
Larry says they are working very hard to get a licence for making fresh goat’s cheese which he believes will sell very well. In the meantime, he says he’s happy to entertain new enquiries from other restaurants.
Chef Jess Murphy from Kai Café and Restaurant is a huge fan.
“We make a fresh cheese called labneh from the milk and also a beautiful ice cream with burnt honey, cherry compote and pie crust cookies. We serve the yoghurt with Castlemine lamb chops and it also makes a mean kohlrabi slaw,” says Jess.
“It’s a winner. It’s local, it’s fresh and I love it!”