Some homebrew stores, such as MicroHomebrew and Bob’s Homebrew in Seattle, Washington, stock a limited number of cheesemaking supplies, including cultures. Online sources for hobbyist cheesemakers, such as New England Cheesemaking Supply Company and TheCheeseMaker.com, offer a greater selection of the supplies the hobby requires. Dairy Connection, a wholesale supply company, offers retail sales to hobbyists through its GetCulture site.
Finding local stores that sell cheesemaking supplies is often difficult, so many small-scale cheesemakers depend on online suppliers. These stores offer many of the supplies and cultures the amateur cheesemaker needs. They also offer books and kits that help make the first attempt at making cheese successful. Because the cultures are alive, suppliers offer expedited shipping but may wait to ship the order until early in the week so that they are fresh upon arrival. Some of the online sources also offer workshops that teach the art of making cheese at home.
Making cheese requires milk, but most grocery store supplies are pasteurized and homogenized. This milk is only suitable for soft cheeses, such as quark, ricotta or blue cheese. Some health food stores sell vat pasteurized milk that is not homogenized, which is good for most cheesemaking, providing it was not overheated during pasteurization. Some states, such as Washington, also allow retailers to sell raw milk, which works for cheeses aging more than 60 days.