Capitol Hill’s second destination food hall officially opened its doors on May 1 with Kurt Farm Shop, a dreamy little outpost devoted to the dairy goodies made on Kurt Timmermeister’s Vashon Island Kurtwood Farms.
Inside the 295-square-foot shop, Timmermeister showcases his farm-fresh, artisanal ice creams and signature farmstead cheeses: Dinah’s, a bloomy rind cheese; the crumbly, feta-like Flora’s; and LogHouse, a semi-hard, tomme-style cheese. In addition, he's got a few surprises.
We caught up with Timmermeister to chat about ice cream flavors (yes, including the soy saucey salted plum), his favorite non-cow’s milk cheeses at the shop and how you can’t take the farm out of the boy.
How does it feel to be back in retail and restaurants?
I sold my restaurant 11 years ago and I kind of missed retail so it feels great. It’s a thrill to make some really tasty products and people are really supportive. There’s this great sense of place here. Right now the building only has us and Niche Outside open. But, once Erica Burke (Chop Shop Juice & Provisions and Chop Shop Cafe) opens I’ll probably stay open longer in the evenings. The building is this amazing combination of public and private. Once you get into these gates it's very calm and relaxing.
How many ice creams do you offer?
We usually have six flavors at once. Right now we have the Jersey Cream. It’s very much about the really good, simple ingredients. Also the Flora's Cheese. It’s a little tart and salty, almost like cheesecake with these little hard bits that are frozen. We’ll do strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, rhubarb, a chocolate sorbet and salted plum. Later this summer, we’ll make our tomato jam ice cream.
And...the cheeses? Any surprises?
My cheeses are made from cow’s milk so this was a good opportunity to bring in a few of my favorite Puget Sound cheeses made from sheep and goat, and a blue cheese. So we have Cascadia Creamery’s Glacier Blue and a hard cheese, Beecher's Flagship Reserve. Burton Hill Farm has a great goat feta. I’ll probably bring a few from Yarmuth Farm Cheese.
You told Eater Seattle you’re excited to bring a little farm to the city. Explain?
I have a few carts out in front of the store with the very best from my greenhouse. Things like salad greens and tomato plants and strawberry and raspberry plants. Soon I’ll have more herbs, like rose geranium, lemon verbena and tarragon. In the next two or three weeks the herbs will be ready and the ice cream flavors will become more herb- and botanical-influenced.
We’ll be waiting patiently.