Canadian Artisan Cheese Company – Back Forty

Back Forty Artisan Cheese Website

Update – May 1, 2012

This post was originally about Back Forty and it’s founder, Jim Keith, looking for help to transition and perpetuate his business.  In a press release today, it was announced that Jeff and Jenna Fenwick would be taking over the helm of Back Forty Cheese. According to the release:

For the past several months, Jeff has been working closely with James learning to make his award-winning cheeses. Jeff will be continuing production of Back Forty’s Highland Blue, Flower Station, Bonnechere, and the creamy delicacy Madawaska, and is anxious to get to work on creating some of his own cheeses. His wife Jenna will be taking a supporting role with Back Forty Artisan Cheese.

James is optimistic about the company’s future. “Back Forty has been a wonderful adventure for me, and I’m so pleased that Jeff and Jenna are taking over. With their abundant energy, imagination and enthusiasm, I know they are going to make exciting things happen.”

The original post in summary:

Recently I received an email from one of my blog followers:

My name is Jim Keith and I am Back Forty Artisan Cheese.  I just wanted to let you know that I am selling my little farm here in Lanark together with Back Forty Artisan Cheese, or separately.  It’s a great little established cheesemaking business for someone who wanted to get into the industry.   If you hear of anyone who might be interested, please steer them my way.

I ended up talking to Jim and he has a nice little cheese company that he started with his wife. He’s ready for a change and is looking for a successor.

His cheese business was launched in 1999 and continues to grow. Back Forty specializes in sheep’s milk cheeses. Back Forty Cheese has been served to visiting dignitaries and heads of state, at Rideau Hall. Jim’s cheeses are sold in the finest shops and restaurants.

He is located 1.25 hours to downtown Ottawa.  1.5 hours to Kingston.

Back Forty Cheese Company

The Back Forty Cheese Company includes all equipment, suppliers and customers, plus training to make the principal cheeses that he currently produces. His cheeses include:


Madawaska Cheese by Back Forty Cheese Company

Highland Blue by Back Forty Cheese Company

Highland Blue by Back Forty Cheese Company

Flower Station Cheese by Back Forty Cheese Company

Flower Station Cheese by Back Forty Cheese Company

Bonnechere Cheese by Back Forty Cheese Company

Bonnechere Cheese by Back Forty Cheese Company

Jim’s Bonnechere cheese received a favourable review by the Globe and Mail cheese expert Sue Riedl. His cheese has also made the cover of the 2008 LCBO Food and Drink Magazine.

DISCLOSURE: I am not associated with Back Forty Cheese Company nor am I receiving compensation for this post. It’s a nice business, Jim’s a nice guy and I wish him the best in transitioning his business to new ownership.

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