Fons Smits |Owner |Cheese Maker | Teacher | Cleaner | Coffee Drinker
After 20 years of making cheese for other people, our owner, Fons Smits decided it was time to make cheese and other dairy products (like butter) for himself!
So, in June of 2014, started making cheeses using traditional recipes from Europe and he added his own twist to each (from his experience making cheese all over the world)...ever since, he's been cranking out some amazing products.
Fons is originally from the Netherlands but, he's been here in the US for 10 yrs+ - he now resides in Zionsville, Indiana.
Katy | Creative Director | Yach Rock Fan | Advisor | Cheese Namer | Farmers Market Sales | Cheese Slinger
How old are you? 36
Tell us about self? I grew up in Zionsville and moved to Chicago to go to school for theater. I worked in catering and customer service while acting as artistic director for a small theater group. After 10 years in Chicago I came back to Indiana and got right into the local food scene, where I met Fons and Laura. I created a company with my sister making gourmet dips, sauces and salad dressings. I reconnected with Fons and Laura a few years later and have been honored to be part of Tulip Tree from the start.
What did you or do you do when you are not working? When I'm not working I'm busy with my two daughters, Wren and Matilda.
How long have you been with Tulip Tree Creamery? Since the beginning
When and how did your love of cheese begin? My mother was a caterer out of our house from the time I was very little. I remember her bringing leftover baked brie with phyllo dough and apricot preserves. It was very fancy and decadent for my 8 year old palate.
What is your favorite cheese? That's like picking a favorite child! I love our Trillium. Laura brought some Dry Jack back from California that I'm still thinking about. A grilled cheese with Sage Derby is sublime.
Your favorite restaurant? My husband and love date nights at Major Ethiopian restaurant.
Your favorite guilty pleasure? Croissants from Rene's Bakery
Best thing about working here? The best part about working here talking food with my customers. I love hearing about what folks are making with our cheeses, how they pair them and prepare them. I have some amazing customers!
Laura Davenport | Owner | Sales and Marketing | Cheese Slinger | Certified Cheese Proffesional - 2017
Age: 50 something...
Hometown: Hagerstown, IN
I love cheese (and I've been told that cheese loves me)! I'm a MWF with a very supportive husband and a very creative daughter. Feeding cheese to people is the BEST....is there a better job out there?
Fell in love with cheese while attending the American Cheese Society in Vermont, in 2007.
in 2017, Laura became a Certified Cheese Professional at the American Cheese Society Conference in Denver, Colorado.