Prince Edward County cheesemaker Fifth Town suspends operations

Prince Edward County cheesemaker Fifth Town suspends operations

Fifth Town’s retail shop (Image: Sutha Kamal) 

Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Company, the much-loved artisanal Prince Edward County cheese company, has wound down its operations—for now at least. Founder Petra Kassun-Mutch made the announcement on Facebook:

“Over the past two years, I watched the colour slowly drain out of something that was special [and] innovative and [that] pushed the envelope on several important environmental and social fronts–and something I felt was possible because of all the things others had taught me along the way. Now [there’s] nothing left to drain. The doors have closed on FT. My gratitude to all the staff, present and former, and the community who participated in making it happen over the past four years, and a special thanks to those who tried to tough it out in hopes of a better next phase. Even with doors closed, and whether you loved it or were of the ‘Told you so’ crowd, we together created something positive that will, in spite of its physical closing, endure for years to come.”

Kassun-Mutch stepped down as president last year, and the interim president, Christine Legein, told Post City that while the company has not completely shut down, it has ceased wholesale production of cheese as it attempts to restructure. Founded by Kassun-Mutch in 2002 on 20 acres of farmland, Fifth Town was a true innovator. Its 4,800-square-foot facility won a LEED Platinum accreditation in 2009, and its idiosyncratic cheeses with quirky monikers—Bonnie and Floyd, Morning Moon, Nettles Gone Wild—had (and still have) a devoted following. The company’s website has announced that the retail store in Picton will remain open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with a full range of inventory for the time being.