Company History

The Perkins FamilyWe started in January 2009 with a borrowed pasteurizer from the State of North Carolina and a dream to build a great business crafting exceptional, small batch cheese. But before the dream came the journey and it started at a farmstead goat dairy in southern Virginia in 1999. A six month apprenticeship milking goats, making cheese and dealing with every facet of the operation planted a seed and a passion for the animals and the craft of cheesemaking that continues to grow to this day. Not soon after that fateful apprenticeship, our founders Jen & Andy Perkins relocated to Asheville and Jen continued making cheese, taking cheese courses with Peter Dixon of Dairy Foods Consulting in Vermont and at NC State while working for the Biltmore Company. Then another temporary relocation took the family to the west side of the Southern Appalachains for Jen to take a job as Assistant Cheesemaker at the renowned Blackberry Farm before they returned home a couple years later to get started on their own cheesemaking operation. Jen started as the only person in the business but by 2011 employees had been added and Andy left his job as an Audiologist to work full-time in the operation and manage sales and distribution. In 2013, a small 200 sq foot Cheese Shop was added in a space that used to house the resident goats and has become a popular, off the beaten path, destination for fans to buy and enjoy cheese, cheese plates and wine by the glass. Looking Glass, now in its 8th year of operation, has grown from processing fifty gallons of goat milk one time a week to processing three hundred gallons of goat and cow milk every week.  
Recognition and awards came quickly to our fledgling company and in 2010, Williams-Sonoma selected Looking Glass cheeses to be the Southern Cheese Collection for national distribution until 2015. Ellington won the Taste Test Awards by Cooking Light in 2011 and took home a second place at the American Cheese Society Conference and Competition in August of 2012.  We received a Taste of the South Award in 2014 and many medals at the International Cheese Competition at the NC State Fair every year from 2012 to 2016.  Carmelita received a Good Food Award in 2013 and Connemara was also awarded in 2015 making Looking Glass one of the only companies to be recognized in both the confections and cheesemaking categories. Mountain Express readers voted Looking Glass Creamery best Cheesemaker in Western North Carolina in 2015 and 2016.
All of these accomplishments take a mountain of work, effort, and dedication from a small crew of great people to make it all happen.  Below is a little about each of those people who play a critical roll in the success of this business. Who Knows? You just might see one of these great folks working behind the counter on your next trip to the cheese shop or delivering cheese downtown to your favorite Asheville Restaurant.   


Ashley is delighted to be working with Looking Glass Creamery Cheese, her favorite regional vice yet.  Off the job, she furthers her personal career of cooking dinner and sipping wine in seven-hour shifts.  She also enjoys the occasional foray to the river to practice "fly-fishing" which in her case ought to be called "line-tangling." 


Mysterious Liz PayneLiz, long time cheese fanatic, and now LGC Cheese Monger is behind the counter every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  She is a woman of many talents from fine wood working to world traveling musician (check out Zoo Wheel).  Her talent and intrigue are boundless, and you will find her as mysterious as her picture.  When she isn't working the counter, she and her faithful companion Gus can be found hiking and birdwatching in the back woods of WNC. 


Isaac is a recent graduate from A-B Tech's well respected Baking and Pastry Arts program.  He forayed into cheesemaking to broaden his horizons in the vast world of culinary knowledge.  Isaac started working at LGC as an Assistant Cheesemaker. When he's not here helping make our assortment of cheeses, he enjoys being outdoors, hiking, playing with his labradoodle named Truffles and experimenting with new ice cream recipes in his kitchen at home. He really likes pint glasses and is not a fan of coffee mugs at all.  


Bryan YoungBryan, also known as BY, is a recovering architect turned flower farmer. He and his wife own and operate Urban Farm Girl in nearby Black Mountain.  He helps us out behind the counter on occasion. He is a man of many talents and built our custom counter and Carmelita display case too. When he is not cheese mongering or busy farming flowers you can find him on one of the many disc golf courses in the area.