By January, Tommy and Connie Thompson expect to have 120 kids.
Just thinking of names for them all will be a daunting task, Mr. Thompson said, not to mention bottle feeding them four times a day.
"We don't have any friends right now, they're all afraid we'll invite them over for kidding season," said Mr. Thompson, the new owner of Country Plum Farm in Harlem, better known by local chefs as producers of Blue Moon Cheese.
The Thompsons are partners in the business, along with Mr. Thompson's brother David and wife, Jeannie. The farm is one of only two certified goat dairies in the state. The goat herd, which is milked twice a day, includes about 75 Nubian goats, many of which are pregnant.
The Thompsons bought the farm and business from Lynn and Cyd Masters who began producing cheese in 1996 out of their kitchen in Harlem. Just three months ago, the Masters completed construction on a dairy and cheese plant that is certified by the Georgia Department of Agriculture as a Grade A dairy. In late October, they closed the deal to sell the operation to the Thompsons.
"I've been looking to sell but it was the right people that made me sell," said Mr. Masters, who also worked full-time as a Richmond County firefighter while he ran the cheese business. "They're good friends, they're retired and they are operating with a little more capital than we had. They can take our business and go forward with it."
Mr. Thompson has plans to add LaMancha goats to the heard which produce more milk and to increase the herd size to around 200 in the next three to five years.
Mr. Masters credits La Maison on Telfair chef Heinz Sowinski, and chef and owner Dan Perry at D. Timm's Jazz Cafe, for promoting his product in their restaurants.
"The quality of the product is far superior to anything that I've tasted, that I can get imported from France or those that I've tasted at cheese shows. He got into a trend market, and now goat cheese is a staple at most restaurants," said Perry, whose goat cheesecake is a staple on the D. Timm's menu. "If I didn't have Blue Moon, my goat-cheese business would drop in half. I get it every week the day after they make it. It's the freshest product, by far."
Blue Moon cheese is distributed in Athens, Greensboro, N.C., Aiken, Savannah and in most of the finer restaurants in Augusta.
"We want to be the local dairy in the Atlanta market, as well," Mr. Thompson said. "Our problem is we've never had enough milk to distribute any further. What we want to do is increase the heard so we can make all the cheese demand requires."
David Thompson took early retirement from Southern Bell to become a partner with his brother on the farm.
"They'd all ask me what I was going to do when I retired and I'd tell them, 'I'm going to be a goat farmer,' and they'd say, 'No, really, what are you going to do,"' David Thompson said.
Tommy Thompson, president of Florida Fiber Networks Inc., is trading in his corporate suit for a pair of galoshes, the couple giving up their house in Atlanta to move to Harlem.
"I've been in corporate America for 38 years and I've been chasing that pot of gold. I've been commuting in Florida and was away from home the majority of the time," said Mr. Thomson, who has a daughter who lives in Augusta and steered him toward buying the farm. "It's just my way of settling down, even though it's a lot of work."
And as for the Master's, they've traded in their farm house for a townhouse.
"Dairy life is hard," Mr. Masters said. "It's 18 hours a day, seven days a week and it does not stop. We have two little girls and there was no time for them. Life was passing us by. It was always the cheese, always the dairy."
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