Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company Named Small Business People of the Year for Northern California


The sisters running this cheese company are creating a model and community around sustainable world-class american-made cheeses

SAN FRANCISCO - The U.S. Small Business Administration's San Francisco District Office's 2019 Small Business People of the Year are the family owners Diana Hagan, Lynn Stray, and Jill Basch, of Point Reyes Cheese Farmstead in Point Reyes Station, CA.   

Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese, a second-generation, family-owned business located in Point Reyes Station, CA, is known for its artisanal, all-natural approach to cheesemaking. Founded in 1959 by Bob and Dean Giacomini, the business started out as a 720-acre dairy farm, producing some of the highest quality milk in the North Bay. In 2000, three of Bob and Dean’s daughters joined the business and transitioned it from milk production to environmentally sustainable, artisanal cheesemaking to reduce stress on the land they love and honor.

“We are fortunate to be able to produce our products in two locations in Marin and Sonoma, but we believe we have a greater responsibility to the larger community, to the economic environment, and to the agricultural landscape of the North Bay,” said Jill Giacomini Basch, Chief Marketing Officer, Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese. “We're focused on being business-oriented conservationists, because we realize that the cheese starts not just with healthy animals but with how we take care of the pastures. Only through sustainable farming practices can the land itself pay the necessary dividends beneficial to the future of our business—allowing us to raise healthy animals that produce the highest quality milk.”

"It is an honor to be recognized by the SBA’s San Francisco District Office as their 2019 Small Business of the Year, and we are grateful to Capital Access Group and the SBA for supporting our vision, but the real credit belongs to our employees,” said Diana Giacomini Hagan, Chief Financial Officer, Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese. “This has been a really exciting time for our company, and our employees are over the moon about our growth plan and excited for the opportunity to grow on the job and learn new skills. None of this would have been possible without their support.”

“The SBA Small Business Person of the Year award recognizes businesses who achieve significant growth, have staying power and contribute to their community. Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company and owners Lynn, Diana and Jill, truly embody the spirit of this award,” said Julie Clowes, SBA San Francisco District Office District Director. “They took the family business in a new direction and now employ 85 people with projections to double production within 5 years, all while supporting land preservation groups and efforts to permanently protect agricultural land in the North Bay.”

Capital Access Group nominated Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese for the award, which will be presented at a reception and ceremony on May 8, 2019, during San Francisco’s annual Small Business Week celebration.

Each year since 1963, the President has issued a proclamation calling for the celebration of National Small Business Week. SBA recognizes outstanding small business owners for their personal successes and contributions to our nation.

For more information about National Small Business Week, visit www.sba.gov/nsbw 


About the U.S. Small Business Administration


The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.

About the SBA San Francisco District Office:

The SBA San Francisco District serves the Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino, Lake, Sonoma, Napa, Marin, Solano, Contra Costa, San Francisco, Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties with a single office in San Francisco. SBA San Francisco District staff provides resources and services in three areas referred to as “the three C’s” – counseling, capital and contracting. Visit www.sba.gov/ca/sf or follow @SBA_SF for more information including resource partners, lenders, workshops, success stories and other resources to help business start, grow and succeed.

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