Meg Schader '98, Lauren Hefferon '83
Meg Schader '98
In the dairy sections of several dozen Upstate New York grocery stores sit cartons of Wake Robin Farm yogurt, available in plain, vanilla, and maple. They were delivered by Meg Schader, who also helped milk the cows, process the yogurt, glue on the labels, and seal the shipping boxes. The budding brand, which sold about 60,000 quart-sized cartons last year, is produced entirely on Schader's forty-five-acre homestead west of Syracuse. "It's just my husband, myself, and one employee," she says "I have a hand in everything that goes on, from start to finish."
The yogurt recipe, which Schader developed through trial and error, comprises only a handful of ingredients. The whole milk, cream-on-top yogurt is processed some 200 feet from the milking parlor, and the product is distributed within days of being made. Each batch is unique, determined by the season and which cow's milk was used. Says Schader: "I compare it to an artisan cheese."
In fact, she is currently expanding her wares to include cheeses, such as a farmstead cheddar and a variety unique to Wake Robin Farm that she calls "grasiago." "It's based on the recipe for an asiago that is made in the high mountains of Italy," she says. "We've never been there, so we don't know if it's true to form. But it's a good cheese and people like it, so that's all that matters. "
— Zak Failla
Lauren Hefferon '83
Many executives hold the title CEO, but Lauren Hefferon is a CEB—Chief Executive Biker. Hefferon runs Ciclismo Classico, the bicycle vacation company she founded in 1988. Originally specializing in guided tours of Italy, the company has since expanded to eleven countries, including New Zealand, Vietnam, Croatia, Austria, Ireland, the Czech Republic, and Chile. "We're giving people the gift of visiting a new place and spending time with their friends," says Hefferon, who majored in anthropology on the Hill.
On Ciclismo trips, which last about a week, each morning begins with a meeting in which guides detail the historical and cultural sites the group will visit on the day's ride. Travelers bike some twenty to forty miles each day and sleep in four-star hotels. Along the way, they might sample local wines, visit a monastery, or take a walking tour of a city. The company serves 1,400 vacationers a year on about eighty trips—and except for the vehicle that carries the riders' luggage, the tours all run on pedal power. "I feel like we're doing something for people's health and for the planet," Hefferon says. "We're not using motorized vehicles or burning fossil fuels. We're using our legs."
— Justin Reed '09