Straus Family Creamery - Marshall, California
Family-owned Straus Family Creamery opened its doors in 1994. The creamery is located in Marshall on Northern California’s coast, about 50 miles north of San Francisco, Straus was the first certified organic dairy west of the Mississippi. It was also America’s first 100 percent certified organic creamery.
Bill and Ellen Straus began their family dairy farm in the early 1940s. They raised their four children on the farm and Albert Straus, the eldest son, began co-managing the farm with his father in 1977. With his degree in dairy science, Albert immediately began implementing innovative farming practices to better conserve the property and improve conditions for their herd.
Determined to sustain the same ratio of cow-per-acre-of-land, the Strauses have kept the farm small. To keep up with the large demand for their high-quality products, however, they now purchase certified organic, non-GMO milk from seven neighboring family farms. Comments Albert Straus, “The goal was never to grow the creamery business in an unlimited way, but help grow the community of organic dairy farmers by spearheading a viable business model for family farms.” The seven farms follow the same strict rules of sustainability, accountability and humane animal treatment. The cows never receive hormones or antibiotics and they consume only an organic vegetarian diet. These strict standards result in the highest-quality, minimally processed organic milk.
The Straus creamery makes their butter in an old-fashioned butter churn. This 1950s churn produces as much organic butter in one week as a large commercial facility produces in one hour. The results are butter with a creamy texture, a rich-sweet taste, and a high butterfat content (85 percent). With no added colorings or additives, this butter tastes clean and fresh, produces flaky pastry and has a high smoke point, meaning it won’t burn as easily in the pan. It is no wonder that Straus European style butter is a favorite with chefs and bakers.