Caitlin Hunter got her first goats in 1979, in another life, in another part of Maine. By 1981, she had begun making cheese and selling it at a local farmers’ market she started. In those days, cheese could legally be made in your kitchen with a Home Food Processing License. She developed her initial line of soft cheeses in those first years.
Fast forward a few years, to 1990, to Appleton, a second marriage, a new flock of goats. A few years were spent building the barn, the herd, the brand, and final state licensing for Appleton Creamery was realized in September 1994. Our first farmers’ markets were the Belfast Farmers’ Market and the Camden Farmers’ Market in 1995, and we never looked back. With help from MOFGA, Caitlin and a handful of other cheese makers came together and launched the Maine Cheese Guild in 2003. With the introduction of advanced cheese making classes in Maine through the Guild, the skill set of Maine cheese makers soared, and Maine artisan cheese took off.
For the last 16 years, Caitlin has taught cheese making classes, both in her dairy and around the state, and welcomed apprentices on her farm. In 2020, with many years of farm life taking their toll, Caitlin was forced to give up milking goats due to advanced arthritis, and closed Appleton Creamery to enjoy retired life with her husband Brad and offer her knowledge to the industry by hanging out her shingle as Capercaillie Consulting.