Our Story

"Dairy" But, No Dairy

Darë Vegan Cheese was founded in Asheville, NC, but founder Gwendolyn Dare Hageman was born and raised in Dare County, North Carolina. The company name, (pronounced “Dairy”, by the way), is a play on Gwendolyn’s middle name and a cheeky nod to the bold approach in which Darë Vegan Cheese was made.

Today, her company focuses on small-batch, handmade goodness. With a team of dedicated and passionate individuals, Darë chooses people over machinery and passion over everything to make a product infused with love and intention. 

In this journey, Darë has found joy and purpose in creating a satisfying dairy-free cheese that leaves nothing to be desired. Well, maybe one thing, and that’s more Darë Vegan Cheese!

We've made cheese better, it's nuts.

(First Farmer’s Market- Sept 2019)

Creating Small Matters

Not all products are created equally. At Darë, sharing love through food is our love language. It makes us happy to make you happy.

We thoughtfully source ingredients with intention. We collaborate with other small businesses to support our local ecosystem. We employ people and make them happier. When you support our business, you support our core values and conviction for better in the world.

Small-batch and handmade isn’t a marketing tool, its how we do things. We focus on a small list of whole ingredients for plant-based cheese that tastes just like cheese. We wanted better for ourselves and it’s one of our greatest joys to share the best with you.

  • Simply the Best

    We’ve heard it before. “It’s good for a vegan cheese,” or “It’s pretty good for being plant-based.” Those kind of sentiments are nice, but we wanted more. Darë Vegan Cheese aims to be the best dairy-free cheese out there, and if we’re being honest, we just want you to say, “Hey, that’s really good cheese.” So we work with whole ingredients, food science, and fermentation to bring out the best in our live cultures, the workhorse of microbes behind the best cheeses in the world. 

  • Human-Centered

    We are a people-powered company driven to serve plant-based communities far and wide. We share mutual respect for people, planet, and animals and work to support each other with empathy, collaboration, and care. 

  • Craft Conscious

    When we set out on a path to develop a dairy-free cheese, we knew we couldn’t call it cheese without following cheesemaking traditions. Culinary craft remains the center of our work. Paired with a deep care for our customers and bonafide technique, we delve into our work as chefs, artisans, and flavor makers. 

  • Boldness

    This business was built on taking a chance and getting out of our comfort zone. Our a-ha moment came from that wild place where experimentation meets innovation. From one bold experiment, Darë Vegan Cheese was born and so was our taste for the thrill of creation. We took that experience to heart. We choose boldness and courage daily so that we can make the best dairy-free cheese on the market and grow into a company we’re proud of. 

  • Down-to-Earth Artisan

    Yes, we’re an artisan product, a plant-based alternative. Some might even say, a fancy cheese. But at our core, we’re a pun-loving bunch of people who would rather our products take the spotlight, than us. We don’t like too much fanfare. We just like to make tasty products and let the cheese speak for itself.