Texas Cheese Tour

Pure Luck Farm & Dairy

Written By: Babs Hogan

Interview with Amelia Sweethardt, Pure Luck Farm & Dairy
Dripping Springs
Interview date:  6-25-2012


When was your cheese operation founded/started?  In 1995, when my mom decided to start a commercial dairy.  I started making cheese professionally in 1997 at age 20.

What did you do before making cheese?  I was in computer networking.

Do you still do that?  No. I thought it was cool, but I didn’t like staying inside all day.

Which aspect of the business do you most enjoy?  Making cheese.  I love scooping the curd, wrapping, and the beauty of the process.  I’m definitely into the aesthetic part.

How did you learn the skills?  My mom taught me the necessary techniques.  I’ve been doing it fifteen years now.  In the last three years, I have attended classes at the Vermont Institute of Artisan Cheese.


Did you enjoy the classes?  I loved it.

Like Paul Kindstedt?  Yes, it’s fun stuff!  I wouldn’t be able to take those classes or read those books if I didn’t have the experience, though.

What are the names of the cheeses you make?  Chèvre, Hopelessly Bleu, Feta, Sainte Maure, and Del Cielo

What is your favorite cheese to make?  Soft, French-style goat cheese

Have you consciously tried to emulate any particular style of cheese or primarily picked some recipes and developed your own style?  The techniques have been established.  We are all emulating cheeses that have already been made.

Are there any particular types of cheeses that you are intrigued by or want to start making?  Yes, Spanish-style goat cheeses because the texture is so different.  They are more elastic and have a different style of coating.  I’m working on making them now.

How long have you been a member of the American Cheese Society?  Since 1997

Do you pasteurize your milk?  Yes

What kind of goats do you have on your farm?  We have 100 Nubian and Alpine goats.

How large is your farm?  Fifty of the sixty-one acres is dedicated for dairy purposes; eleven is used for farming.

Are there any particular challenges to a cheesemaker in Texas?  Yes, four come to mind:

  1. High cost of feed and hay
  2. Long distance to markets
  3. High expenses for a small producer, compared to a high volume facility
  4. Drought


Many people are familiar with only Cheddar, Jack and Mozzarella.  What would you say to someone who is timid to try one of your cheeses?  The most powerful way to get customers interested in new cheeses is through retailers.  They’re incredible because of their accessibility.  Their non-condescending approach to customers is phenomenal.

Do you sell directly through the internet? No

Do you sell your cheeses at farmers markets?  My husband, Ben Guyton, sells in the Cedar Park and Mueller Farmer’s Markets.

What is your biggest winner in the American Cheese Society Contests? Chèvre


On a recent visit to Antonellis in Austin, I noticed that one of your cheeses is named after your son.  Is he making cheese?  June started spending some time in the cheese plant as early as three.  He is also taking a liking to milking the goats now.  He is very helpful around the farm!

Website: www.purelucktexas.com