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Downer for cheese lovers as The Lone Grazer is put out to pasture

The creamery has been in northeast Minneapolis' Food Building since 2015.
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Kieran Folliard's Food Building in northeast Minneapolis was home to three artisanal food businesses, but that number is now down to two.

While Red Table Meat Co. and Baker's Field Flour & Bread flourish, cheese company The Lone Grazer Creamery didn't have enough to keep going, according to a message posted by Folliard on its website Tuesday.

"After two and a half years of laboring, building a plant, and fostering positive relationships with farmers, vendors, customers, and employees, we find that our business model is not working," he wrote.

"Food Building has two growing businesses that need more investment in order to continue their growth, and we have one business where, despite everyone’s hard work and unwavering dedication, and the terrific products that have been crafted, the business is not growing fast enough to justify further investment.

"The other businesses within Food Building have a clear path towards economic viability and success."

The Lone Grazer was spearheaded by University of Minnesota alum and former Caves of Faribault cheese maker Reuben Nilsson, who took up residence in Folliard's Food Building concept in 2015, making cheese from Minnesota-pastured cow's milk.

Its cheese won plenty of plaudits, not least from CityPages, which named its cheese curds at No. 38 on its best dishes list for 2016.

Folliard, who masterminded a string of successful Irish bars in the Twin Cities including Kieran's, The Local, Liffey's and the Cooper, turned his attention to drink-making after selling his bar empire in 2011, launching 2 Gingers Irish whiskey, the Star Tribune reports.

With 2 Gingers snapped up a year later by Beam, the Irish-born entrepreneur then set about transforming the 26,000 square-foot former industrial building on Marshall Street Northeast into Food Building, a haven for "quality and innovation obsessed facility" aimed at "personality-driven artisanal food producers," the newspaper notes.

While The Lone Grazer is closing, Folliard says he'll figure out what to do with the space later this year, but for now is focused on growing Red Table Meat and Baker's Field.

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