Leah was born and raised in Los Angeles and grew up watching Julia Child, How to Boil Water and Yan Can Cook. She has worked in many aspects of the food industry since her first job scooping ice cream at the age of 15.
Leah attended The California Culinary Academy in San Francisco in 1999, while simultaneously working in garde manger/pastry at Jeramiah Tower’s acclaimed restaurant, Stars Bar and Dining. She completed her pastry internship at Caneel Bay Resort in the U.S. Virgin Islands and upon her return to California, landed a job as part of the opening team in the pastry department of the new Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay. There, she worked extremely hard in all aspects of the pastry department where she was Department Trainer. She then later transferred to open The Ritz Carlton Boston and was the pastry lead of the fine dining room called “The Dining Room”. Thereafter, she worked in Beverly Hills at The L’ermitage Hotel before being recruited to be the Assistant Pastry Chef/Acting Pastry Chef of the Regent Beverly Wilshire. During that time she was also sent to open another hotel, The Four Seasons Palo Alto. After this satisfying career, she left her pastry career to backpack solo around the globe for a year, sampling each country’s culinary differences and gaining innumerable life experiences.
Upon return from her travels, Leah yearned to find an independent shop similar to that she had experienced in so many places around the world. She found The Cheese Store of Silverlake, where she cheesemongered and managed for 6 years. During this time, she worked under Chris Pollan (previously of The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills), attended the American Cheese Society Convention, and worked with fellow Cheesemongers and Artisan producers to learn the trade to the best of her ability.
Milkfarm is a collaboration of Leah’s heart, soul, work and life experiences. This is her first business and she can’t wait to share her love for cheese and artisan food with the local community. She is especially grateful to be in such a diverse and family-friendly neighborhood of Eagle Rock, where she also resides with her amazing dog Pepper (short for Cacio e Pepe). She is happy to say that she has achieved her dream job of being a business owner in the culinary field.
Leah knew she wanted to be in the food business at a very early age, as her favorite toys as a child were a cash register, fake food and mini kitchenette. Her and her childhood friend “opened” a restaurant called Jose and Leah’s Famouse Foods (yes, spelled incorrectly), where they forced terrible concoctions onto their parents. “My mom thought it was weird that her (Asian) kid could love cheese so much. She used to say, ‘You know you’d be 10 pounds lighter if you didn’t eat so much cheese!’ I guess those early years of sticking a Kraft Single in the rice cooker has finally paid off…my own cheese store!”
Alyssa Trulson – General Manager + Social Media
She was born in Massachusetts, into a family of chefs and educators and all-around lovers of fine food. She looked forward to every big family holiday, mostly to get to sample the impressive cheese boards that were always on the table (these boards featured grocery store cheddar and goat logs…her current cheese boards look a little different these days). After a few years of floundering after high school, Alyssa landed her very first job, behind the cheese counter at a local Whole Foods. She quickly ate up as much as she could and became the store’s official Cheese Expert/Buyer. Hungry for more, she wandered into Milkfarm in 2016 and tentatively asked “Hey, are you guys maybe hiring?”…and the rest is history. A few failed cheese knowledge tests later, Alyssa has vowed to continue learning and teaching and eating for as long as this cheesy journey lasts!”
After having a little too much fun at art school, Devra thought that she might have taken a wrong turn through the Richard Serra sculpture and accidentally walked away with a degree in bologna. Never one to miss an opportunity, she naturally turned her skills toward the food industry. Balancing her time over the last couple years working as a vegan baker and bacon-wrapped donut maker (not usually at the same time), she has officially made room for a pastry brush next to her brights and filberts.
Early in the summer of 2014, her wandering feet took up their old habits and she found herself upon the doorstep of Milkfarm. The delectable treats and warm community lured her inside. Once again at the beginnings of a new frontier, Devra is excited to immerse herself in the world of cheese and learn the fine art of cheesemongering.
Andrew McKenzie – Cheesemonger + Cheese Buyer
Sam Glassberg – Cheesemonger + Beverage Buyer
Born in London and raised in Kansas City, much of Sam’s life has revolved around food. From the BBQ Belt of America to the dark bars of Golden Gai in Shinjuku, there’s not a food journey he isn’t willing to take. This sense of adventure and a forever hungry tummy led him to Los Angeles, and more importantly, to cheese.
A former touring musician, Sam blindly stumbled into his first cheesemonger job as a way to support himself in between tours. But the call of the curd was too strong for Sam! He grew to love the world of artisan cheese and happily traded in his guitar strings for cheese wire. Now a cheese boy with dreams of being a cheese man, Sam has excitedly embraced next chapter of his culinary journey at Milkfarm since 2020.
Michael Jones – Cheesemonger
Michael is born and raised in Los Angeles, and has traveled to several places across the country while working in the advertising industry. Although he was pretty keen with a spreadsheet, Michael decided to make a career change after being laid off during the Great Recession. A lifetime love of cooking (with a particular interest in BBQ and sausage making) and the newly acquired hobby of beer brewing led him to enroll in the culinary program at Trade Technical College in Downtown Los Angeles. After graduating, he began his journey working in several LA kitchens (including, Gingergrass, Messhall, Belcampo and a run at Ludo Lefebvre’s LudoBites5.0) and is now pretty keen with a knife! After COVID, he decided another change was needed and decided to trade his knife for a cheese wire. Michael turned his attention to the wonderful world of cheese and joined the Milkfarm family in June 2021!
Davey – Cheesemonger
Davey started out as a theatrical lighting technician, but their lifelong love of home cooking brought them into the world of cheese. A Milkfarm patron since 2016, they love experimenting in the kitchen and sharing a cheese plate with their mom (also a noted HBB lover).
Josh Trulson – Cheesemonger
“Born in Massachusetts, raised in Florida, and grown in California” as he puts it, Josh is constantly on a quest for knowledge and flavor. After graduating high school he wasn’t quite what he wanted to do with himself, but food sciences were always a passion, often bringing books about brewing beer to read before class. A few years of making sandwiches at Jimmy Johns later (and slicing his fair share of provolone) he had found himself following his sister Alyssa’s footsteps within the cheese section of his local Whole Foods, quickly earning the title of “cheese guy” by learning everything he could about the products he sold. Over time though, he craved something more. While discussing with his sister in early 2023 that he was looking into finding new work within an artisan cheese shop, she responded “Well, we could use another solid cheesemonger here at Milkfarm!” and the rest was history. Now that Josh is a member of this seasoned team of knowledgeable mongers he’s excited to soak in all the gooey, buttery expertise around him and expand his palate even further.