Little Island Creamery dreams big
Delphine Criscenzo is helping transform the idyllic spot into a performance and events space
January 11, 2024
While Little Island Creamery offers an award winning Brie, butter, ice cream, and more, owners Dick McDonald and his sister Kathleen McDonald have also aspired to turn their property into an event venue.
Their new event coordinator, Delphine Criscenzo, is helping to make that happen. Criscenzo, who was born and raised in the south of France, has years of experience in community and event organizing for non-profits.
"Finding the job at Little Island Creamery was serendipitous," Criscenzo said. "It's absolutely fabulous. I feel blessed by it."
The upstairs portion of the barn at the creamery has been used for weddings in the past and a newer building on the property houses a commercial kitchen and meeting rooms.
"This place has so much potential," Criscenzo said. "The McDonalds have been really wanting for the space to be used as a tool for the community, for having events that people would enjoy, for also being a place that people can use as a meeting space, and for learning and teaching the skill of cheesemaking and other things."
Live music, family friendly movies, cheesemaking classes, and line dancing classes are just a few of the events that have already gotten underway at the creamery. More are planned.
There will be live music every third Thursday of the month. This month features Idanha, a band from Astoria. Cloudshine, a band from Rainier, arrives in February, and Claire Beck, a singer from Longview, will play in March.
"We're trying to tap into local talents and give them a new experience playing in front of an audience," Criscenzo said. "Several of them have only set up in front of people who are drinking or eating."
Family friendly movies will be shown on a big screen the first Sunday of every month from 2-4 p.m. They've already shown "Elf" and "Chicken Run." "Shrek" is planned for next month, and "Brave" will be shown in March.
A line dancing class was offered last Saturday, and Criscenzo is hoping to bring Harvest Moon, a Quinault tribal member, storyteller and master basket weaver, for a story telling event.
In the commercial kitchen, cheesemakers have been teaching cheese making classes since November.
"We've had so much demand, we've actually schedule more classes," Criscenzo said. "The next two classes are already full."
They're also rolling out bread making classes with local Don Speranza teaching a small group how to make focaccia.
Other ideas in the works include classes on local mushroom foraging and native edible foods, and workshops on fermenting and brewing.
"We're trying to tap into local talents and expanding our offerings to include things that other people want to learn, things that are not available in the community, like the line dancing," Criscenzo said.
For more information, check out Little Island Creamery's Facebook page, or sign up for their newsletter, at eepurl.com/iFjLMs