A Quick Note on Our Cheeses
All Stepladder cheeses are artisanal - made in small, handmade batches using farmstead goat's milk and local cow's milk. Since everything is cut by hand there is some variation expected in sizes and is representative of the artisan nature of cheesemaking.
If you have questions about pasteurization, dietary restrictions or allergies, please send us an email. Upon purchse (from our online store or a farmer's market) we suggest storage in the fridge, then brought to room temperature at least 30 minutes before snacking. We hope you enjoy!
Ragged Point is a small format bloomy rind triple crème cow’s milk cheese named for the gateway to Big Sur just North of our farmstead. The paste stays firm as the cheese matures, and does not become overly soft. As Ragged Point ages past four weeks, it takes on a peppery character and a distinct cream line underneath the rind forms. We enjoy this cheese with apples, honey and crusty bread. We were honored to be selected as a finalist at the Good Food Awards and took home 3rd Place at the American Cheese Society in the Triple Cream category with this little button. Available Year Round; ~3.5 oz size
Note: triple crème rinds contain Penicillium candidum
Big Sur is a small format bloomy rind, ash coated, triple crème mixed cow and goat milk cheese named for the iconic coastline where we are located. The paste is smooth, lactic, light and stays firm as the cheese matures. The balance of farmstead goat milk and local cow milk provides a bit of goaty brightness without being overwhelming. The vegetable ash adds a visual distinction from our Ragged Point and also helps maintain the rind pH. Available Spring-Fall; ~3.5 oz size
Note: triple crème rinds contain Penicillium candidum
Our delicious, mild and creamy fresh Chèvre is the ultimate representation of spring cheesemaking. Making its way from our milking parlor to your plate in less than one week, this soft white cheese speaks freshness. Our chèvre is made from the first milk of the season. Enjoy our chèvre paired with fresh or dried fruit, a glass of crisp white wine, or your favorite crusty bread. Available Spring-Fall; ~6oz container // SOLD OUT for the season
Rocky Butte is a washed curd cheese aged at least six months made from 100% farmstead goat milk. Named for the granite pluton that marks the end of the Santa Lucia range visible from our creamery, it is a very mild cheese with a creamy paste. Rocky Butte pairs well with full bodied red wines, Spec and dried cherries.
Currently unavailable; returning October 2022; ~8oz size
Cabrillo is our Spanish style cheese created from a blend of goat and cow milk named for the iconic Highway One that runs along the rugged California coastline minutes from our farmstead. It has a rich, nutty character, golden color and pairs great with white wine, Pinot, almonds and figs. Cabrillo is a cheese we make predominantly in the fall as our goats’ production wanes and their milk takes on a stronger character. Available Year Round; ~4 and ~8oz sizes
Cabrillo Reserve is our extra-aged version of Cabrillo. This cheese is typically aged for 12+ months and has a more robust flavor. It also contains more of those delicious tyrosine crystals we love in this cheese! Available for a limited time; 8oz size only online
LumberJack is our take on an iconic American Original: cave aged Monterey Jack. Dairies along the California Coast from Monterey to Big Sur were made famous for their production of Jack cheese, and we hope to honor this tradition with our rendition. Made with fresh cow's milk and aged for at least 60 days in our caves, LumberJack is the perfect everyday eater or melting cheese. We like to pair this cheese with tart, crisp apples, or a light beer. Available Year Round: ~4 and ~8oz sizes
Used like cream cheese, Fromage Blanc is a staple of the French diet. Often referred to as the French answer to yogurt or cream cheese, Fromage Blanc is a cheese made from fresh, soft curds that have been slightly drained of whey. It has the tangy lactic flavor of cow milk without the goaty twang of our fresh Chevre.
Great for cooking anything that you would use cream cheese, but with a little more continental flavor. Try it in your next omelet, you'll be surprised by the richness it'll add!In addition to our original Fromage Blanc, we also offer flavors including Everything Bagel Seasoning, Marinated and Spicy. Available Year Round: ~6oz container
Marinated Fromage Blanc
Fresh, lactic cow's cheese packed full of locally sourced olive oil, black peppercorns, bay leaf, and a chile. Olive oil is from Olea Farm in Templeton, CA, and the spices are from Oaktown Spice Shop in Oakland, CA. Available Year Round; one size jar
Spicy Fromage Blanc
Our spicy fromage blanc is a great snack or spread. It's filled with delicious Goat Horn Chile from our friends at Oaktown Spice Shop in addition to the chili paste Sambal Oelek. The spice is balanced nicely by the fresh, creamery flavor of the cheese.
This cheese is available for à la carte orders and is also featured in the Medium and Large bundles/memberships. Available Year Round; ~6oz container
Everything Bagel Fromage Blanc
Our Everything Bagel Fromage Blanc is a perfect way to start your day. This blend of spices adds a delightful pepper-garlic-fennel-ness to our Everything Bagel Fromage Blanc with a touch of dill seed and smoky sea salt. Available Year Round; ~6oz container
Our Paso Vino cheese is the true marriage of wine and cheese and is soaked in a bath of a local, aromatic Syrah after pressing and before aging. We've partnered with a local winery to create a full-bodied, inky wine specifically crafted for cheese making. This delicious Spanish-style cow's milk cheese is our smallest format hard cheese. Available Year Round; ~4 and ~8oz sizes
Moonstone is a pasteurized, natural rind, hard cow’s milk cheese. Made from a 50/50 blend of Jersey and Holstein milk from a local dairy, it has a rich, buttery and creamy flavor with a bit of zip at the end. Moonstone has a naturally pale yellow paste and a rind developed with our natural cave flora. The flavor is reminiscent of stone, burnt caramel and coffee grounds. Available Year Round; ~4 and ~8oz sizes
Guided Virtual Tasting
Head over to our YouTube channel to watch our guided virtual tasting for the Medium and Large Cheese Bundles. Learn more about how each cheese is made and get pairing suggestions for the ultimate tasting experience.