Business 100 – 2015

Smith, Peggy

Peggy Smith/Cowgirl Creamery

Peggy Smith is a co-founder of Cowgirl Creamery, based in Point Reyes, California, along with Sue Conley (also featured on this list).

Born in Texas and raised in northern Virginia, Peggy attended the University of Tennessee (where she and Sue met), and began her cooking career in the food business at Gallagher’s Pub in Washington, D.C.

Peggy proudly names the Lanings of County Cork as Irish ancestors and credits them for her love of folk music – She often joined the open mic sessions at Gallagher’s Irish Pub, in D.C. After a cross-country road trip landed her in San Francisco in 1976, Peggy honed her cooking skills at numerous Bay area establishments, including Noe Valley Bar and Grill, Mount View Hotel, and eventually Chez Panisse, where she stayed until going into business with Sue in 1997 when they began producing cheese in a salvaged 200 gallon cottage cheese vat. Today, Cowgirl Creamery now operates a cheese distribution company, two retail shops and two cheese production facilities and work with a staff of 100 people to produce and distribute artisan and farmstead cheese.