Food Box

Naked Cow Dairy

Heavy and rich, coagulated sunlight…

Wai‘anae butter on your morning toast

Naked Cow Dairy / Unless you’ve tried Naked Cow Dairy’s fresh butter or hail from a Wisconsin farm, you probably don’t know how good butter can taste. This Waianae dairy produces Hawaii’s only butter, cream cheese and cow cheese. You can buy it at farmers’ markets–Blaisdell, KCC, Waianae, Mililani and sometimes at the Thursday Kailua market. Usually on hand is flavored and plain butter and cream cheese and often feta. All of these creamy treats come from the 20 or so cows that graze on the 12-acre Leeward farm.

The operation was started by Monique van der Stroom who ran the now-defunct Pacific Dairy in Waianae, which supplied milk to Meadow Gold. She managed a rather conventional dairy operation for some 15 years with 27 employees and nearly 1,400 cows. When Pacific closed, van der Stroom found herself wanting to continue in the industry, but on a different scale and with new products.

Van der Stroom’s business partner is her sister, Sabrina St. Martin who has a culinary background, having worked in Louisiana’s lively food scene. When Hurricane Katrina hit, she left the state and eventually joined her sister at the dairy, where she handles the marketing and cheese development.

One of the ultimate goals of Naked Cow is to produce not only butter and cheeses but whole, unhomogenized milk in returnable glass bottles. This will require additional capital to purchase all the machinery necessary, so it’s on hold for now. Hard cheese production is coming as well, from both raw and pasteurized milk, yielding swiss, gouda and cheddar.

-Headline from Churning Day by Seamus Heaney