Goat Cheese Business For Sale

Missouri couple's asking price: $1.5 M

Megan Lynch
June 03, 2018 - 7:08 pm
Steve & Vernoica Baetje of Bloomsdale, Mo.

KMOX photo

BLOOMSDALE, Mo. (KMOX) - A Missouri couple has spent two decades building a name for their handcrafted goat cheese. Now they're ready for someone else to expand on their legacy.

"We ended up with this goat which really wasn't my first choice, I really wanted to get a cow at the time, but that was what was available where we were and I just fell in love with the goats, they're so smart."

Veronica Baetje (pronounced bay-gee) and her husband Steve launched a business on that one goat and her kid.    "I spent years making cheese in our kitchen, studying everything there was to know about goat husbandry."

Baetje Farms has grown into an award-winning enterprise on 4 acres in Bloomsdale, Missouri.  The artisan cheese they produce is a local favorite.  It has also gained acclaim across the country. 

So the couple that had to settle for a goat because they couldn't afford a cow, is now asking one-point-five million dollars for their entire operation.

"The Baetje Farms name has value.  Our cheese is sold across the country in San Francisco, in New York City.  We were featured in the New York Times two years ago.   And that's a recognized name.  The name, the recipes, all of that goes with the sale."

Veronica has offered to stay and help any new owner make the transition -- and offer advice from what they've learned through normal agricultural ups and downs.  "In 2011 and '12 we had really bad drought years and we had extremely hot summers.  Our milk production was very low.  We just didn't have enough milk to make demand because the animals were hot.  They weren't going to give their normal amount of milk."

That trial led to innovation, as Baetje partnered with a sheep farmer.  "I started experimenting with blends of sheep and goat milk.  That's where we created a brand new cheese during that time.  The cheese that we created is called Miette.  It won Super Gold at the World Cheese Awards."

They're excited now for someone else to see what they can make of Baetje goat cheese.  Veronica says the site might be perfect for agritourism, a bed and breakfast, or something else utilizing the historic buildings on site. 

But for Veronica and Steve, they've realized their dream, and they're ready to reconnect.  "This type of business is very demanding," explains Veronica.  "We don't get to really spend a lot of time outside of business.  We're kind of looking forward to being able to take a trip together.  We don't ever get to leave the farm at the same time, someone always has to stay behind, one of us. "

One thing they won't leave behind when the sale is final, says Veronica, "I don't think I'll ever be without goats in my life, honestly.  I'm always going to have some goats around."