SONOMA -- Laura Chenel’s Chevre announced plans today to build a new creamery in the city of Sonoma.

The 30,000-square-foot plant will be built on land purchased in the Carneros Business Park on East Eighth Street. It is scheduled to be in operation by 2011.

The family-owned French artisan company, Laiteries H. Triballat, purchased 15-employee Laura Chenel artisan goat cheese in 2006

“We will continue the Laura Chenel tradition of great California chevre by creating new cheeses for the evolving American palate,” said Marie Lesoudier, general manager of the company. “Along with our award-winning line of fresh cheeses, we want to build the right environment for developing new products, and this new plant will give us room to innovate and be creative.”

Founded by artisan goat cheese pioneer Laura Chenel in the late 1970s, the gourmet cheeses became nationally acclaimed and gave rise to a goat cheese manufacturing industry across the country. The North Bay region is currently home to a dozen small, award-winning makers of goat cheeses.

The company is currently operating out of its original space in the Stornetta Dairy in Sonoma Valley. Ms. Lesoudier said Laura Chenel Chevre will continue to purchase and use goat’s milk exclusively from its 15 California and western Nevada producers, with whom it has established strong, long-term relationships for ethical and sustainable practices.