Category Archives: News

Natural Pastures Cheese Strikes Gold at the Royal Winter Fair 2023 with Bufetta – A Water Buffalo Milk Delight


COURTENAY, BC, CANADA — January 9, 2024

Natural Pastures Cheese, a renowned artisanal Canadian cheese producer located in Courtenay, British Columbia, is thrilled to announce its recent triumph at the prestigious Royal Winter Fair in Toronto. The esteemed competition, held in 2023, saw Natural Pastures Cheese’s Bufetta, a delectable water buffalo milk product, clinch the Gold Medal in recognition of its exceptional quality and flavor. Since November 1922, Toronto has held the annual Royal Agricultural Winter Fair which is a tribute to Canadian agriculture. Held annually at the Canadian National Exhibition grounds, it has been considered the world’s largest indoor agricultural, horticultural and equestrian fair.

Bufetta, crafted with precision and care, exemplifies Natural Pastures Cheese’s commitment to sourcing the finest ingredients and employing traditional cheese-making techniques. Made with non-GMO, grass-fed water buffalo milk, and “BC Dairy” cow milk (made with 70 % Water buffalo milk and 30% Cow milk) Bufetta boasts a distinct profile that sets it apart from your average feta. The rich, creamy texture and unique flavor have made it a sought-after choice among chefs and food enthusiasts.

The heart and soul behind Natural Pastures Cheese’s success lie in the expertise of its master cheese maker, Paul Sutter, of Swiss descent. With many years of dedicated service to the company, Paul Sutter has played a pivotal role in developing and perfecting the water buffalo products that have now earned them the prestigious Gold Medal at the Royal Winter Fair.

“We are truly honored and delighted to receive the Gold Medal at the Royal Winter Fair for Bufetta,” said Doug Smith – Operations Manager at Natural Pastures Cheese. “This recognition is a testament to the hard work and passion of our team, particularly our master cheese maker, Paul Sutter. His expertise and dedication have been instrumental in creating exceptional water buffalo milk products. We extend our gratitude to the Royal Winter Fair for providing a platform to showcase the best in Canadian cheese.”

The Royal Winter Fair is renowned for its rigorous judging process, making Natural Pastures Cheese’s Gold Medal win a significant achievement. This accolade further solidifies the company’s standing in the Canadian cheese industry and highlights its dedication to producing exceptional artisanal cheeses.

For more information about Natural Pastures Cheese and its award-winning Bufetta, please visit [website link].

About Natural Pastures Cheese: Natural Pastures Cheese is a distinguished artisanal cheese producer located in Courtenay, British Columbia, Canada. Committed to crafting high-quality cheeses, the company focuses on using the finest ingredients and traditional cheese-making techniques to deliver exceptional flavors. Distribution is available through Lekker Food Distributors, Gordon Foods Services and select distributors across Western Canada and Ontario.

Media Contact: Media Contact Person’s Anyssa Jane – General Manager, Natural Pastures Cheese 250-334-4422

For other results:

2023 Goat, Sheep, Water Buffalo & Mixed Variety Cheese Competition
Show Results – The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair – 2023 (

It has won Gold/ 1. Place in the category of Feta or Feta Style – Natural with or without brining

Water Buffalo Babies – Shaw TV Port Alberni

The water buffalo love their creature comforts. Cleaning and new bedding means they have to leave the barn. Which means they have to go outside. Check out this video from Shaw TV, on when they get moving. Filmed at Coleman Meadows in Port Alberni.

Our water buffalo milk comes from Coleman meadows and McClintock Farms here on Vancouver Island in British Columbia Canada!

charcuterie board

Thanksgiving Cheese Sampler Selection

This Thanksgiving, savor the exquisite flavors of Natural Pastures Cheese products, knowing that your holiday feast would lack its essential touch without a sumptuous platter showcasing the likes of Bourenkaas, Aged Farmhouse, Courtenay Cheddar, Amsterdammer, and Cracked Pepper cheeses and Brie!

Its our pleasure is to curate an opulent selection of artisanal cheeses and complementary condiments for you, your beloved family, and cherished friends.

Our cheese selection encompasses a delightful diversity of options, but do note that some, such as Cracked Pepper, are available in limited quantities. Therefore, we recommend making your choice promptly to ensure you secure these rare treasures.

When your Thanksgiving day arrives, all that remains is for you to plate up your delightful cheese assortment on a beautiful board. Display them elegantly at your holiday table, and let the festivities begin!

This Thanksgiving, let the star of your feast be a captivating cheese platter that brings family and friends together. Secure your order today, and we have it ready for pick up in Courtenay for you Thanksgiving celebration.

Your Thanksgiving Sampler promises an extraordinary culinary journey:
$145 – pick up price ( shipping is extra )

  • A generous selection of 5 cheeses, featuring the rich flavors of Bourenkaas, the rustic charm of Aged Farmhouse, the bold character of Courtenay Cheddar, the nuanced sophistication of Amsterdammer, and, if you’re lucky, the limited edition delight of Cracked Pepper. -+200 grams
  • 2 Jars of Saltspring Kitchen Co. Candied Jalapeno Relish and Apple Fig & Fennel.
  • As YOU Like It – Mango Chutney 125 ml
  • Ladjager bites from Grimm’s 125G
  • 2 bags of Jenny Marie’s Crackers 100 g each
  • 1 tin of Wild Spring Salmon 160 g
  • 1 Bulb of Garston’s Garlic ( we recommend roasting to have with Brie on crackers)
  • Big D’s 50 grams of charcuterie honey
  • Cheese Knife
  • Additionally, you’ll receive a fact sheet detailing the cheese descriptions and suggested pairings with 40 Knots Wine.
  • You may upgrade and add on as needed
    recommended addon’s 200 G Natural Pastures Butter , Natural Pastures Fondue, Cheese Flight 6 mixed cheese rolls

Please bear in mind that we dispatch wedges of cheese approx 200g and while the exact cheese selections in your Sampler sizes may vary, rest assured that we will make every effort to include Bourenkaas, Aged Farmhouse, Courtenay Cheddar, Amsterdammer, and, Cracked Pepper. In the event of limited availability, we reserve the right to substitute any item with a product of equal or greater value. Your Thanksgiving celebration is our priority, and we want it to be a cheese-filled success!
This offer expires November 1, 2023 call for updates.

Heart shaped toast with BC inspired ingredients. Buy local.

Celebrating the Power of Local

These are heady times. Masses of Canadians are staying in, working from home, and doing our duty to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It’s a scary time, but also a really uplifting one.

We’re seeing throngs of friends and neighbours discovering the power of LOCAL.

Our food producers and purveyors are responding to this situation with creativity, with kindness, and with heart. Here are some of our favourite businesses, both on island and off, and how they are responding to the crisis:

40 Knots Winery 

Craving some social interaction? Fill your favourite goblet and your social quota chat with their online book club. Also offering free wine delivery to anywhere in BC & AB. 2400 Anderton Rd, Comox (855) 941-8810. 

Comox Valley Farmers’ Market

The market has been moved to Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds (4839 Headquarters Rd; parking by the curling rink).

Hot Chocolates

Hard times require serious chocolate. Now offering online ordering & delivery service of their decadent chocolate treats. 368 5th St, Courtenay, BC (250) 338-8211.

Local Collaboration

Recently we’ve been impressed by how a local food group and a Courtenay restaurant have stepped up to help out. Lush Valley has gone into high gear to provide baskets of fresh food and groceries to families, with the School District using their bus for deliveries.  And Guerrilla Pizza and Coast Environmental have spread the love by surprising our health care workers with pizza to help them through their shifts.

Langford Subway

The owner of Subway at 1016 McCallum Road in Langford is offering free meals to those in need. Drop by and ask for the “happy meal” and they’ll hook you up. (250) 478-5711.

Lentelus Farm Stand

Get your free-range meats, eggs, fresh sourdough bread, wildflower honey and fresh veggies at their Farm Stand. 1300 Comox Rd, Courtenay, BC (250) 218-4640.

Nanaimo Youth Services Association

On Thursday nights the NYSA is handing out free food boxes for young families in need. Also offering help to those looking to understand the new financial aid options for families in need. 

290 Bastion St, Nanaimo (250) 754-1989.

Ox Chophouse

Looking to indulge in some truly elevated dining? You can now order takeout from Ox Chophouse on 2253 South Island Hwy #5, Campbell River (250) 926-0606.

Sooke Brewing Company & Route 14

This award-winning brewery has partnered with nearby @route14 for food and drink delivery each day. There are also beer kegs for purchase, with pumps to rent. Call 250 642-0106 or check them out on Instagram @sookebrewing. 2057 Otter Point Rd, Sooke, BC.

Discover Comox Valley Business Services Directory

“Comox Valley Economic Development & Tourism is providing a tool for local businesses including restaurants, retail service providers, farm markets/stands, and winery/brewery/distilleries to outline their current services being offered, in one common location.”

There are so many more locally and further away who are responding to this situation in amazing ways. We wish we could list them all, but we are proud to be part of a network of businesses and people who put their community first.

For ourselves, we are still open for business. We are offering $5 delivery in the Courtenay area.

To order: call 250-334-4422, extension 4.

Or email:

Orders can be pre-paid by phone or we can accept payments by credit card at the door. Pickups can also be made at 635 McPhee Avenue, Courtenay.

We offer a huge shoutout to our fellow small food producers for using online ordering & offering contactless delivery methods that are safer for everyone during this time: 😍 .

Have a new favourite way to enjoy local food? Tag your local food producer in the comments!

Meet the Contenders: Natural Pastures Award Winning Cheeses

Meet the Contenders

With 43 international awards in cheese making since 2002, we’ve found ourselves in great company. From the World Cheese Awards to Canada’s own Royal Agricultural Winter Fair – we’ve been making a name for ourselves across the globe.

We may have become known internationally, but our approach remains as homey as ever: the Comox Valley produces the best cheese on earth. But, you don’t have to take our word for it.


Pleasing to crowds and international judges alike, our Dutch ‘Farmer’s Cheese,’ is sweet and nutty, with a tangy finish. Best used for epic cheese pulls, delicious omelettes, and proper salads.

One reviewer states, “Dear Natural Pastures: I have never written a cheese fan letter before but… I tried a piece and nearly swooned… you are a cheese artist.” 

We’re blushing.

Winner of national and international awards, if you haven’t tried Boerenkaas – you must. It may become your dinner party dazzler.


🏆 2013 British Empire Cheese Competition, Second Place, Class 2 Firm Cheese

🏆 2004 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix, Category Finalist, Firm Cheese

🏆 2004 The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, Third Place

🏆 2002 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix, Category Winner, Semi-Soft Cheese

Smoked Boerenkaas

Many smoked cheeses are not actually smoked. Instead, smoke particulates are added to the cheese to give it a smoke-like flavour. That’s a process we weren’t interested in replicating. To make it right, we started by collaborating with neighbours Smoken Bones Cookshack, collected some local hardwood and mastered the process. According to the judges at the 2011 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix, our natural approach was exactly right. Since then we’ve moved our cheese smoking in-house and are loving the results.


🏆 2014 Canadian Cheese Awards, Category Finalist, Smoked Cheese

🏆 2014 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix, Category Winner, Best B.C. Cheese

🏆 2011 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix, Category Winner, Flavoured Cheese (with Added Non‐Particulate Flavouring)

Aged Farmhouse

Our Boerenkaas, when aged, transforms into our sublime Aged Farmhouse. A taste of Comox Valley, its rich, bold flavour leaves a lingering sweetness on the tongue.


🏆 2009 Pacific National Exhibition Cheese Competition, Overall Champion Cheese & Winner of Hard Cheese Category

Garlic & Chives Verdelait

What makes a World Championship Silver Medalist verdelait? We start with a combination of Cheddar, Dutch Gouda and Swiss Raclette. The flavour is further enhanced by garlic and shaved herbs. Our verdelait is semi-firm, creamy, and fantastic baked in eggy hors d’oeuvres like a quiche or frittatta. A champion melter, our verdelait transforms good dishes to sublime. 


🏆 2008 World Championship Silver Medal

With all of this attention, we prefer to stick to what we know: producing some of the best artisan cheese on the planet. Luckily, you can find our cheeses at a grocery store near you.

Pacific Wildfire Verdelait: Made from BC.

Blending old world traditional cheese making with the heat and fire of inspiration – we pose a challenge to our most adventurous cheese eaters: Can you handle the heat?

Cheesemaking has existed for centuries. It’s a craft built on technique and tradition. We honour these principles to bring you the best cheese on earth. We take inspiration from the land and sea that surrounds us, and partner with local farmers who care for the animals producing our milk. Without tradition, we are nothing.

But sometimes you must part with tradition – to make way for something new, something a little more daring.

Today we introduce our boldest new creation: Pacific Wildfire Verdelait.

Smoke and Spice

You may have tried smoked cheeses in the past, and this is where we start. You’ll first notice the rich and complex smoke flavour, contrasted by the creaminess of our cheese blend. Then the heat kicks in. 

To imbue this new creation with heat, we chose locally grown hot peppers from family run Seal Bay Farm. This farm is run by the Lightfoot family, known for their hot sauces and pepper jellies. Their hot habanero is the one we chose for Pacific Wildfire – a fiery, fruity, and delicious pepper that packs a spicy punch.

To balance the heat from the peppers, we blend with our unique verdelait cheese, which has a hint of cheddar, raclette, and gouda. We finish with a touch of black pepper to accentuate the bold smokiness and turn up the flavour dial on the peppers. Believe us – you won’t find anything on the market quite like this. 

Pacific Wildfire. It’s vibrant and sassy, evocative with a lingering finish. It’s a bold cheese made for the very brave.

Help Support Our Firemen

Pick up Pacific Wildfire at your local market and help support your local firefighters. With every purchase, a percentage of sales will go to the Comox Fire Rescue Benevolent Fund. A fund to assist long-term sick or injured firefighters with costs not typically covered by insurance.

The Edible Valley Podcast, Episode 78 “Doug Smith of Natural Pastures Cheese” Comox Valley, B.C.

Doug Smith of Natural Pastures was gracious enough to join us tonight to discuss cheese! As one of the Comox Valley’s cornerstone food producers that help put our humble, beautiful Valley on the map, Doug is one of those key talents that took a small business idea, and turned it into a national brand! He walks us through the process of getting started, growing to fit your market, and establishing yourself amongst your peers. We had a great time with Doug – who is just a wealth of information of Valley history, business planning and above all: Cheese!… listen to The Edible Valley Podcast