Jessica Keahey is a civil engineer by trade, spending over a decade as a designer and project manager. Her background in microbiology, coupled with a love of food and fermentation, led her to the fascinating and tasty world of cheese. In 2012 she fell head over heels in love with cheesemaking and envisioned bringing the artisanal cheese movement to her home state of Arkansas. Sweet Freedom Cheese opened its doors in 2013 and now partners with local businesses, colleges, schools, and other institutions to teach workshops, lectures, and classes about cheese and cheesemaking around Arkansas. Sweet Freedom Cheese is the only independent, cut-to-order cheese shop and education center in Northwest Arkansas.
An alumna of the University of Arkansas, Jessica came to the ASBTDC with her idea and seeking assistance to obtain the financing needed to open her business. Working tirelessly with the ASBTDC, Jessica developed a sound business plan and solid financial projections, both backed by professional market research. She was able to use that information to secure an SBA loan, providing her with the funding she needed to open the doors of Sweet Freedom Cheese.