4 min read ·
We have so many great vendors to feature in our Midtown Farmers’ Market profile series, and this week we’re talking to Celebrity Dairy, owned by Brit and Fleming Pfann. Each Saturday you can find Mary Mieres staffing the Midtown Farmers’ Market booth. We spoke to Mary about this unique goat farm, its star attraction(s), and the delicious products she sells each Saturday.
So, tell us, where does the name Celebrity Dairy come from?
Mary Mieres: The name came because all of our goats are named after celebrities. In fact, all the animals at Celebrity Dairy are named after celebrities. We have a cat named Bradley Cooper that we all call “Coop.”
What is it about Midtown Farmers’ Market that brings Celebrity Dairy all the way from Chatham County?
MM: Well, currently we do the farmers’ markets in Carrboro, Southern Pines, Durham, and Raleigh. Four of our employees arrive early on Saturday, and we each go to one of four different markets. One of these is the Midtown Farmers’ Market, and that’s mine! We chose each market based on where the most people are since the dairy is so far out. Plus, there is a great mix of people at Midtown Farmers’ Market. It’s definitely my favorite.
We’ve tasted your amazing gelato and heard others rave about the goat cheese or chevre, but what is your most popular item?
MM: Definitely a goat cheese spread called Garbo that people mainly use as a topping for crackers. Garlic, basil, and pepper are the prominent flavors. But a lot of people are changing their eating habits, and they’re using it as a healthy alternative to sandwich toppings like mayo. I personally like it in eggs or omelets.
Goats have become quite the internet sensation…have you seen an increase in visitors because of that?
MM: Oh yeah, they are a big hit. We have a bed-and-breakfast and people will reserve rooms just to see the goats. We have other animals too. Like Kendrick our llama. We used to just have Kendrick, but an alpaca farm gave us a female alpaca named Annie, so now Kendrick has a girlfriend. He never leaves her side … he’s smitten. They are really cute together.
Is there a special breed of goats that are selected for the Goat Hilton? (For those wondering what the “Goat Hilton” is, it’s the building in which they live at Celebrity Dairy.)
MM: Alpine goats are what we choose for Celebrity Dairy. They produce high-quality milk which makes delicious goat cheese. We also have some Saanen goats.
What do you like most about being a part of Midtown Farmers’ Market?
MM: All the vendors! It’s almost like being with family. I recently had surgery and couldn’t put my booth together by myself, and the other vendors came together and helped me through that time. There are also so many events going on at Midtown and it draws in a lot of people. There are so many different types of vendors, you get attention even if someone wasn’t coming for your products. It definitely draws a crowd! And Midtown is also really affordable for vendors.
Where can people find you and your delicious goat milk products when you’re not at Midtown Farmers’ Market?
MM: Our products are in Whole Foods Market and Weaver Street Market. You can find our spreads and our chevre logs at both of these locations.
So, you mentioned Celebrity Dairy is also a bed-and-breakfast, and your website says you can and do hosts events such as weddings. How can someone start that conversation?
MM: Yes! We host weddings and reunions, and some clubs will rent the facility for their gatherings as well. When there is an event, the employees all stop working and go to help serve weddings. It’s one of my favorite things there! If someone is interested, they should call Debbie Russell at 919-742-5176. She’s our event coordinator and will work with anyone who wants to rent out Celebrity Dairy to create the perfect event.
People can also come tour the dairy, or come walk around the property on groomed trails. Really the only place people can’t come through when it’s in operation is the Cheese Room, because of concerns with contamination. But if we clear it out, we can show school groups or take other types of tours through that area. Brit and Fleming accommodate just about any group that wants to see the dairy.
Are there any big upcoming developments or news you’d like to share about Celebrity Dairy?
MM: We’re expanding our cheese room by adding on another room and it will be open to the public where they can buy products without that concern of contamination. We needed more space with all the new business we are having.
Any last thoughts on your experiences at Midtown Farmers’ Market?
MM: I have been to many farmers’ markets selling our cheese, but Midtown is one of the best well-run farmers’ markets. I give most of the credit to Vanessa Thompson who is the market manager. She’s really on top of it! Plus, it’s a great place to sell our cheese and gelato, which a lot of people don’t know about.
Come see Mary at the Celebrity Dairy booth any Saturday at Midtown Farmers’ Market while it’s open. And be sure to try some of her amazing gelato. Who knew goats named after celebrities could make such delicious frozen treats? Or keep up with their latest happenings on Facebook. You never know if Kendrick will make a surprise appearance.