After Four Decades, The Cheesemakers At York Hill Farm Retire
by Mary Pols, Portland Press Herald
Posted: 2018-02-13 15:29:51 EST

John Duncan waited until the last couple of outdoor farmers markets in October to put up a sign letting customers know he and his wife, Penny, were closing down York Hill Farm’s cheesemaking business.

It was just a modest sign; the Duncans are not ones to make a fuss or demand fanfare. Unless you saw the sign, you’d have no idea that this might be your last chance ever to purchase fresh cheese in the little white cups with the cute sketches of a pair of goats on top. Moreover, because the season for fresh chevre, their specialty since 1984, was winding down with the arrival of fall and breeding season, the absence of York Hill Farm cheeses on the marketplace wouldn’t have been noticed as winter was taking hold in Maine.

Sam Hayward, the chef/owner of Portland’s Fore Street, didn’t hear about their retirement until January, for instance. At Fore Street, the Duncans’ cheeses have been a critical part of two signature dishes for 20 years, including a tomato-goat cheese spin on tarte tatin. While happy for the Duncans, Hayward is verklempt for himself.

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