July 26, 2011
/> Chelan County’s sole artisan cheese maker is pushing back against costly vending
permits. Eric Link operates Alpine Lakes Sheep Cheese on his farm outside Leavenworth. Link, who sells much of his
cheese at area farmers markets, is irked that he must purchase a $180 annual permit for each location at which he
vends. If he serves cheese at a one-time location like a winery event, he must purchase a separate $45 permit.
/> Link wants the Chelan Douglas Health District to create one permit that would cover his
vending at multiple locations, which he says is available to cheese makers in Okanogan County.
/> But Chelan Douglas Health District Administrator Barry Kling says that while he is
sympathetic to the challenges of a small farmer, he can’t endanger public health by playing favorites.
/> So is this a David vs. Goliath tale of farmer versus political machine? Or is this just the
unfortunate cost of keeping the public safe? Today we explore the issue from both sides.
First, KOHO’s Isaac Kaplan-Woolner spoke with Kling, who said separate permits are required for each and
every location a cheese vendor might want to set up.
Kling added that the Health District
Advisory Board will be reviewing the temporary food service permits, and hope to have a new draft out by September
for public review.
Next, Isaac headed out to Alpine Lakes Sheep Cheese up hwy 97 fro
Leavenworth, to get a farmer’s eye view on the permits that govern cheese sales at area farmers markets.
Eric Link said the cost of multiple permits is restrictive, and his cheese is already state and federally
You can find Alpine Lakes Sheep Cheese, now fully and legally permitted, at
both the Wenatchee and Leavenworth Farmer’s Markets.