Little Qualicum Cheeseworks expanding

Popular local farm is still open during the construction

Nancy and Clarke Gourlay are expanding the production and viewing facility at Little Qualicum   Cheeseworks on Morningstar Farm.

Nancy and Clarke Gourlay are expanding the production and viewing facility at Little Qualicum Cheeseworks on Morningstar Farm.

It’s almost too bad that Little Qualicum Cheeseworks won top prize for their Island Bries cheese when they did. The increased demand for the product as a result of last month’s top honor, say Clarke and Nancy Gourlay simply can’t be met — at least for a little while.

The Cheeseworks has shut down its production for a short time as they expand the work space and add to a customer viewing area.

Morningstar Farm, the site of LQC, is still open to tours and public visits. LQC is also celebrating its 10th anniversary. People will have to wait until early June, perhaps around June 7, said Clarke before cheese production will start up again.

But don’t worry about the cheese. He added they do have enough product on hand to meet local commercial demand for their cheese. Except the curds. Those require active cheesemaking.

The addition to their production facility is approximately 600 sq.ft. (55 m). The added room will offer workers more space to get around their milk vat, which can hold 1,700 liters per day. That’s about as much as the farm’s 65 milk cows can produce and so far, Clarke said that’s a nice pace of business.

At the forefront of local agri-tourism for the last six years, Clarke said things are going well.

“The addition of the winery (Mooberry Winery) three years ago was a draw to another part of the community,” he said.

They currently employ up to 25 people — adding a few more during the summer.

In recent years, the farm has been open to tours, expanded their parking lot, added an on-site store, a picnic area and a series of community events from jazz and cheesecake to calving and singing. Clarke said in the summer months, they probably see 300 to 400 people on the farm each day. In the shoulder seasons, it’s around 100. Most recently, the farm hosted a bus tour from a cruise ship that had docked in Nanaimo.

“That was our most significant visit from a cruise ship and the first since the new dock facility went in in Nanaimo,” he said.

The expansion of their facility — once an old school portable — was needed.

“In the last two years, this has been overdue.”

Clarke said the work will create better venting for the work space and larger, separate storage areas for aging the cheese. The growth will also help LQC meet a growing demand — an estimated 10 to 15 per cent each year, said Clarke — for their products.

Once the work is done, LQC can resume making its Island Bries and offering a better experience for their visitors.


Just Posted

Morningstar Golf Club in Parksville will host the 2021 B.C. Junior Golf Championships. (PQB News file photo)
Morningstar Golf Club in Parksville to host 150 of B.C’s top junior golfers

Provincial boys and girls championship begins June 28

Hannes Grosse, left, and Iris Steigemann, right, as they prepared for their 'Moments of Silence' exhibit. The father-daughter duo are showing at The Old School House Arts Centre in Qualicum Beach until June 26. (Submitted photo)
Cortes Island artists exhibit at Qualicum Beach’s TOSH in first father-daughter show

Both artists will be present at shows on Friday, June 25 and Saturday, June 26

The Lighthouse Country Marine Rescue Society will get more funding from the Regional District of Nanaimo. (Submitted Photo)
More PQB communities to fund Lighthouse Country Marine Rescue Society

RDN to introduce amendment to service bylaw contribution

A slide on best practices when reporting a suspected impaired driver that was presented to Parksville city council on June 7 by Margarita Bernard, a volunteer with MADD. The organization’s Report Impaired Drivers campaign involves the installation of informative signs within the City of Parksville. (Mandy Moraes photo)
MADD brings campaign to report impaired drivers to Parksville

Aim is to raise awareness that 911 should be called

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko, a Vancouver lawyer, has been suspended from practice for two months after admitting that his firm mismanaged $44,353.19 in client trust funds. (Acumen Law)
High-profile B.C. lawyer suspended over $44K in mismanaged client trust funds

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko admits to failing to supervise his staff and find, report the shortage

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., center left, reaches over to Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., joined by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus as they celebrate the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act that creates a new federal holiday to commemorate June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people after the Civil War, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 17, 2021. It’s the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden to sign bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday

New American stat marks the nation’s end of slavery

Athena and Venus, ready to ride. (Zoe Ducklow - Sooke News Mirror)
Goggling double-dog motorcycle sidecar brings smiles to B.C. commuters

Athena and Venus are all teeth and smiles from their Harley-Davidson sidecar

Kimberly Bussiere and other laid-off employees of Casino Nanaimo have launched a class-action lawsuit against the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
B.C. casino workers laid off during pandemic launch class-action lawsuit

Notice of civil claim filed in Supreme Court of B.C. in Nanaimo against Great Canadian Gaming

John Kromhoff with some of the many birthday cards he received from ‘pretty near every place in the world’ after the family of the Langley centenarian let it be known that he wasn’t expecting many cards for his 100th birthday. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Cards from all over the world flood in for B.C. man’s 100th birthday

An online invitation by his family produced a flood of cards to mark his 100th birthday

FILE – Nurse Iciar Bercian prepares a shot at a vaccine clinic for the homeless in Calgary, Alta., Wednesday, June 2, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
B.C. scientists to study effectiveness of COVID vaccines in people with HIV

People living with HIV often require higher doses of other vaccines

Most Read