Wonderful Great: Bread and Cheese
~ by Denise Gierula
Stoudt’s Wonderful Good Market has been a full time vendor and a customer favorite at the Antietam Market all summer. Late risers coming to Saturday’s summer market could usually find themselves staring at Stoudt’s empty table. Breads, cheese, crackers, and scones sold out quickly proving how much our community loves Elizabeth Stoudt’s talent for making a wonderful good product.
Although Elizabeth – owner, head baker and chief cheesemaker – rarely gets a glimpse of our market on a Saturday, she had this to say, “It’s true, I spend most of my time in the cheese room – the baby cheese need lots of attention but I do love the Antietam Valley market. The other vendors are wonderful and I have enjoyed all of the things I purchased from them. I love the community and appreciate how much they support our small businesses, rain or shine; and I also appreciate all the kindness that has been shared with my staff including the cross promotions.”
Elizabeth grew up with her four siblings in the family business and wore many hats as the daughter of Ed and Carol Stoudt. What was started by her parents as the Black Angus Restaurant and Pub in Adamstown soon incorporated a beer garden and festival. Their love of heritage led them to then establish Stoudt’s Brewing Company.
Having grown up in a fermenting family, it seems only natural that Elizabeth turned to a different sort of fermentation by making bread and cheese. While she attended the Vermont Institute for cheese making, she is self-taught when it comes to bread. Not surprisingly, beer is an ingredient in most of the recipes. On an average production day they hand weigh over 300 lbs. of dough. A cheese production day finds Elizabeth working with an average of about 1300 lbs. of milk from 4:30 am until 6:30pm.
With a family business, two children, plus producing bread and cheese, I could not help but ask Elizabeth about her daily challenges and rewards. She replied, “The largest challenge with a family business is accepting help but encouraging your family members to also follow their own passions as my parents have always encouraged me. My largest personal challenge is pulling myself away from work. I live so close. It is so convenient to forget the clock. I love my job…even if a large percent of cheese making is cleaning.”
Can’t get enough of Stoudt’s Wonderful Good Market? You can find them along Rt. 272 in Adamstown. Visit their website at www.stoudts.com for directions, hours and a delicious menu that will make your mouth water. Pumpkin Lager Bread Pudding, anyone? Elizabeth reflected, “The reward of what we do here is having close contact with our customers. We have an open bakery so people can watch us roll soft pretzels and see whatever is coming out of the ovens from biscotti and scones to Christmas cookies and fresh baked bread and cheesecakes. We have windows into the creamery so people can see our facility anytime and the hundreds of cheeses aging in their humidity and temperature controlled rooms, which we fondly refer to as our caves.
Stop by Stoudt’s Wonderful Good stand as they close the summer season of their Green River and Thread Bread, and replace it with Pumpkin Apple Beer and Caramel Apple. Elizabeth Stoudt may even have German Stolen for those of us who are early risers!