Cheese Maker Seeks Cheaper Permit

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.


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