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By Appointment Only
Stepladder was originally founded in 1870 as a cattle ranch and part of the Harmony Valley Creamery Association. To this day, most of our 750 acre property is still free range grazing land. The property changed hands several times over the century, before Jack and Beverly Russell of the current operating family acquired it in the 1980s.
Jack and Beverly planted 40 acres of Hass avocados, which are visible from most places close to the creamery and goat pens. We have a unique subtropical microclimate in this valley, which allows us to grow a wide variety of crops. We grow over 200 varieties of citrus and subtropical fruits, including passion fruit, dragon fruit, guavas, bananas, and coffee. We also have one vacation rental which are available for rent.
Jack Russell passed away about 10+ years ago and the property was left to his three daughters and their families. His grandson, Jack Rudolph now operates the ranch with his wife Michelle.
About 6 years ago, Jack and Michelle turned their hobby interest in farmstead cheesemaking into a licensed creamery operation. Starting with a small herd of 10 goats, we began by making a couple types of goat cheese. With each passing season our herd has grown, as has the variety of goat and cow’s milk cheeses we now produce in our creamery.