×

Peterborough: Cheese without the dairy 

  • —Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • —Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Josh Velasquez is prepared to open up a new production facility for his vegan cashew-cheese spread Nuttin Ordinary, in Peterborough.  Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Josh Velasquez is prepared to open up a new production facility for his vegan cashew-cheese spread Nuttin Ordinary, in Peterborough.  Staff photo by Ashley Saari



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Josh Velasquez didn’t set out to be the first producer of a plant-based cheese in New England. But that’s what his business has become.

Velasquez grew up on a vegan/vegetarian diet, he said in a recent interview with the Ledger-Transcript.

“Of course, that was in the ‘80s,” said Velasquez. “So there weren’t the same amount of options out there, and not everything tasted all that great.”

Which started the germ of an idea for a restaurant that would serve a menu that was entirely plant-based and vegan friendly. Velasquez wasn’t able to get up enough capital to launch that idea, he said, but while trying to get it off the ground, he had begun to develop a line of cheese spread made from cashews that he could sell as a restaurant original.

“And I said, you know, I think I have something here,” he said.

Velasquez is a one-man production line, making his batches of Nuttin Ordinary cheeses in original, spicy and Italian herbs in a production space he built in the basement of his parent’s house in Harrisville. And with more people looking for vegan or milk-free options, whether for health, dietary, or allergy-related reasons, the line took off, and has even been picked up by Whole Foods. In fact, it’s quickly outgrown Velasquez’s 1,500 square foot production lab.

It’s time to trade up, said Velasquez. Not only in space, but in production capacity as the company is poised to grow from local to national distribution. 

Nuttin Ordinary has recently signed the papers and is preparing to move into a new – and much bigger – production space in Peterborough, in the location of the former Brookstone. With the new space, Velasquez anticipates hiring additional employees to kick up production – both full and part time.

It’s a big step – and an intimidating one, said Velasquez. But he said he would rather take the big leap now, and anticipate room to grow as the company releases planned expansions – a new flavor of cheese, individual packets of spread, and a yogurt line. 

Nuttin Ordinary products are available at Nature’s Green Grocer in Peterborough and the Dublin General Store. 

 

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.