e-Compass – September 2011

Business Beacon

“Find something you love to do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” –Harvey MacKay.

Rhonda Gothberg – Gothberg Farms

“When work, commitment, and pleasure all become one and you reach that deep well where passion lives, nothing is impossible.” This quote from Virgil, an ancient Roman poet seems to have been written specifically for Rhonda Gothberg!

As a registered nurse and licensed real estate broker, Rhonda Gothberg never imagined that her desire to raise just one goat would evolve into a whole new livelihood and passion. But it did! Ten years ago, Rhonda and her husband Roy purchased a 40-acre cow dairy farm in Bow, Washington and have since developed it into a full-functioning goat milk Micro dairy where they handcraft about 20 different artisan cheeses.

After purchasing a mother/baby pair of goats to serve their family’s milk needs, Rhonda formed an infectious bond which led her to acquire two more goats. Soon, the goats were producing more milk than her family of three could consume and that’s when Rhonda’s passion for cheese-making was ignited.

She signed up for the Cheese-makers Short Course at Washington State University and began making cheese at home – so delicious that she decided to start selling it commercially. Some of Gothberg Farms’ most popular products include Chevre, Feta, Gouda, Cheddar, and more recently Woman of LaMancha. When asked her favorite Gothberg Farms cheese, Rhonda quickly responds “I don’t make a cheese I don’t love to eat.” However, Rhonda says their most versatile cheese is Chevre “because you can pair it with almost anything. You can go sweet or savory with it” (see recipe below for a goat cheese tart featuring Chevre from Gothberg Farms). Melanie Multop is also a fan of Gothberg’s Chevre and says that a favorite lunch for their two boys is to spread the goat cheese on a piece of whole grain bread with a slice of roasted chicken or turkey meat from the deli case.

It has now been seven years since Rhonda started making goat cheese, and she says the biggest lesson she has learned is how important it is to eat wholesome, nutritious, local food that we have so abundantly available to us here in the Pacific Northwest. On the challenging side, Rhonda says she had no idea she would be working 12-18 hours a day, 7 days a week. Advice she has for aspiring cheese-makers: “Make sure you have the time and energy to commit to the process and whatever you think it’s going to cost you, double it.” Though it can be time-consuming, Rhonda says it’s all worthwhile. “It is still magic to me every time the milk turns to curd! I love the entire process, from goats, to kidding, to milking, and cheese-making. This is a lifestyle change which is most welcome and most rewarding,” she explains.

You can find Gothberg Farms cheese at various farmers markets in the region. Rhonda invites you to come by the Bellingham Farmer’s Market on Saturdays and say Hello to Debbie Matyas who has been working for Gothberg Farms for over 5 years. Gothberg Farms cheese is also featured in some of our areas premiere restaurants. For more information about Gothberg Farms and the cheese they produce, please visit www.gothbergfarms.com. Multop Financial is proud to be serving Rhonda Gothberg with personal and business tax expertise for the past 16 years.

Rhonda Gothberg’s Goat Cheese Tart


1 pound Gothberg Farms Chevre goat cheese
8 oz. sugar
1 oz. corn starch
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
4 egg yolks
3 oz. sour cream
Zest of 1 lemon

To prepare:

Bring all ingredients to room temperature
Mix all ingredients in a food processor until smooth

Tart Shell:

7.5 oz. softened unsalted butter
3 oz. sugar
1/3 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
12 oz. pastry flour
1/3 cup ground pine nuts
Zest of 1 lemon

To prepare:

Mix tart shell dough
Let rest for half an hour in the refrigerator
Roll out dough and fit it into an 11-inch tart pan
Bake until light golden brown

To finish:

Pour filling into tart shell and bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until just set.
Cool and top with your favorite local fruit or a simple pre-serve glaze.

Multop Financial Team Focus

Ted Newman

Never ever doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed. It is the only thing that ever has. -Margaret Mead

Dale Earnhardt once said, “The winner ain’t the one with the fastest car; it’s the one who refuses to lose.” This is a perfect example of why Ted Newman is such a big NASCAR fan. Determination and drive, and some fun along the way! Just like the famous drivers on the track, Ted is the kind of guy who likes to set goals, and work with his pit crew to get the results he wants. His annual trip to Daytona 500 keeps him motivated, not only as a NASCAR enthusiast, but as a key member of the advisory team here at Multop Financial.

In 1995 Ted began his career in financial services with a position at MetLife where he specialized in life, auto and home insurance. He soon obtained his securities registrations and took a position at InterWest Bank where he began working with a full array of investments, specifically 401(k) plans. Most recently he served as an advisor at Frontier Bank. For the past 20 years Ted has been building long term relationships with individuals and business owners and now makes Multop Financial his home where we are pleased to have him lead our business retirement services department. Ted explains, “When it was time to leave Frontier, I looked for an affiliation with an independent firm that shared my same work values and investment philosophies. Multop’s concepts on multi-asset portfolios and their team approach to investing was exactly what I was looking for.”

Along with being a NASCAR fan (Jeff Gordon is his favorite driver), Ted enjoys a variety of outdoor activities, including golf, water-skiing and his favorite work-out, running.

Ted’s assistant, Brandon Beck, comments, “When Ted’s not watching laps, he’s running them.” Another favorite past time is relaxing at home with his wife, Susan (many of you may recognize her as a familiar face at Macy’s where she serves as the manager of the Dior cosmetics counter). In the summer time, you will likely find Ted out on Samish Island trapping crab for his “world-famous crab dip.”

Ted’s World-Famous Crab Dip

1 lb. cooked crab meat
1 cup mayonnaise
Cocktail sauce
Hot sauce or salsa, to taste
Chopped olives (optional)
Chopped artichoke hearts (optional)
Assorted crackers

In a bowl, combine crab meat and mayonnaise until just saturated. Add cocktail sauce and mix together until the mixture has a light orange tint. Add chopped olives, artichoke hearts, and your favorite hot sauce or salsa. Mix together until combined. Spread on crackers and enjoy!

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