Nestled in the rolling hills outside of Galliapolis sits the Nolan Family Farm, also known as Laurel Valley Creamery. Current patriarch Nick Nolan's grandparents moved to the farm in 1947 and the family has kept it going since.
In 1994, Nick's grandfather Fuzzy was killed in a tractor accident and the farm began to decline after that. In 2005, Nick lost his job with General Mills and moved his family move back to the Galliapolis farm to make a living.
"It was tough knowing that it could disappear," said Nick. "I was born and raised here and didn't want to see someone else take it over."
"After I lost my job, it was either pack up and move to another place in the country to find a job or stay where we were at and make it work," said Nick.
The Nolans decided to stay in Galliapolis and carry on the tradition of their family's dairy farm. Nick and Celeste decided to make cheese instead of just selling milk, as it is a more lucrative business than just selling milk.
With Nick's severance package giving them some cushion, they gradually began the farm's transformation into a cheese making farm that could support their family, which now includes four children, ages 8, 6, 3, and three months. Nick also has two children from a prior marriage who live with his ex-wife nearby. Since 2009, the Nolans have been producing cheese commercially full time.
"I can remember my father and grandfather out milking cows and working the farm and I'd be running around with him," said Nick. "And now I'm doing the work and my kids are out and about with me. It's a lot of work, but it's nice to be around the family while I do it. It adds a lot more depth to the whole experience."
While Nick maintains that he wants his kids to do whatever they want in their future, he feels that they will probably inherit the farm from him in the future. "They seem to love it and I think that's the plan, for them to keep it going," he said.