our story, our mission

We created the Cheese Festival in 2015 to showcase New York State artisan and farmstead cheesemakers, and to celebrate Little Falls’ cheesemaking history as the former cheesemaking capital of the USA.

From the start the Cheese Festival has had an important regional focus and scope. It is a cooperative effort of artisan and farmstead cheesemakers from Central New York and many parts of New York State. Cheesemongers from New York City, Albany, Rochester and beyond…powered by talented and dedicated volunteers from Little Falls and throughout the Mohawk Valley and Central New York…bringing people from all over New York State and, as far away as California, Texas, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, and even Edinburgh, Scotland!

We are fortunate to have a city government and a community that recognizes the value of that critical regional focus, showcasing Little Falls to thousands of new visitors each year. A growing number of these festival-goers come back to shop, eat, and buy homes in Little Falls. We know this because we’ve met them waiting for their realtor, and from reports from local merchants and restaurateurs. (We’re still waiting to have a cheese shop on Main Street and a cheesemaker making cheese in our Industrial Park!)

This year, the Little Falls Cheese Festival attracted an estimated 4,000 people to our city. Clearly people will travel for good-quality New York State artisan and farmstead cheese.

We had almost 50 New York State vendors from all over Central New York and to the Canadian, Massachusetts and Vermont borders, with 27 New York State cheesemakers represented, and over 120 different kinds of cheese!

Where else can you find that in New York State?

View our cheesemakers map here.

Learn more about Little Falls’ cheese history here.