Steve Mitchell from the Buffalo Farm has built a custom dairy and production facility to produce what he says will be Scotland’s first buffalo mozzarella.
Founded in 2005, the Buffalo Farm started out with a small herd of water buffalo, selling buffalo meat and burgers at farmers markets. Since a visit from celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay a few years ago, during which they made a trial batch of buffalo mozzarella together and Ramsay expressed interest in investing in the project, Mitchell has been dreaming of going into cheese production.
After being forced to sell a large part of his herd when a major investor pulled out, Mitchell went on to raise £800,000 through a crowdfunding campaign. He has now built a custom-designed dairy parlour and mozarella production facility just outside Kirkcaldy, in Fife, where production is now underway with his “world-class” team.
He said: “We are now embarking on the most exciting and the most terrifying part of the project. We now have to live up to the targets and expectations we have set ourselves and discover whether the market enjoys our Scottish buffalo mozzarella as much as we do.
“I have been lucky enough to tour some of the most respected buffalo farms in Italy, tasting their wonderful produce, and we wanted to create a product which put Scotland on the map and could be considered as being world-class.”
He continued: “Provenance is so important in food and never more so than in buffalo mozzarella. Our cheese is produced in a matter of hours, from milking to finished balls of mozzarella. As a result, you can really smell and taste the freshness compared to one from an overseas producer that has had to travel for days – I am absolutely thrilled at the quality we have achieved.”
The Buffalo Farm has received notes of interest from retailers, restaurants and wholesalers, although Mitchell intends to focus on growth without compromising the quality.
He said: “I would much rather produce small batches of world-class cheese than compromise what we have. We have been given the opportunity to create something quite special and the team is determined to make Scotland a force to be reckoned with in the world buffalo mozzarella market.”