Celebrating our Dairy Industry All Year Long!
As the calendar page flips to July, the official national dairy month – June – will close for the year, but our support of the nation’s dairy industry goes on with ice cream sundaes, glasses of cold milk, and all kinds of cheese!
The Swiss Colony and Colony Brands have been proud partners of the Wisconsin dairy industry since the beginning. Our business started with cheese, and it remains a mainstay in our food business 95 years later.
Both The Swiss Colony and The Wisconsin Cheeseman offer an incredible assortment of 74 different varieties of artisan and award-winning cheeses.
Forrest Kubly, our founder Ray Kubly’s brother, was a licensed cheese grader and ensured we offered the finest cheese to our customers. Forrest also served as a mentor to our current cheese grader and manager of Cheese Sourcing, Tammy Miller. Tammy affectionately recalls her years learning from Forrest, when they would “get together every January and grade all the long-hold Cheddar inventory that we had in storage to ensure the best quality cheddar for our 2-year, 4-year and older cuts.”
Tammy explained that when we purchase our cheddar for aging, it is only 10 days old at the start of the process. We monitor the aging process to guarantee that it develops into the best cheese available for years to come. Tammy even gave us a little hint – watch for a 12-year-old cheddar in The Wisconsin Cheeseman this fall!
“Working with Forrest every year gave me the opportunity to learn the characteristics of cheese that our customers want. It was a great experience to work with someone that had many years of experience and so much knowledge to share,” said Tammy.
Much like Colony Brands, the state of Wisconsin has high standards for the quality of cheese produced in our state. Did you know that Wisconsin is the only state that requires a licensed cheesemaker to monitor every pound of cheese that is made in our state? And we’re also home to the Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker® Program, the only program of its kind outside of Europe. So, it’s no surprise that our cheesemakers often dominate the “Super Bowl of Cheese”, the World Championship Cheese Contest.
The Master Cheesemakers that help us fill the pages of The Wisconsin Cheeseman have nearly 600 awards between them. A few are multi-generation, family-owned businesses, just like us, with a solid foundation and family culture.
Enjoy these fun and impressive facts about the Master Cheesemakers that we’re proud to call our friends and business associates:
Klondike Cheese Co. is well-known for their fantastic Feta, but their Brick and Dill Havarti have their own spots in the World Champion trophy case too! Klondike is home to six Master Cheesemakers who use time-honored traditions in their craft day after day.
Decatur Dairy’s Master Cheesemaker and leader Steve Stettler is known for developing new cheeses including a European-style Havarti and a Swiss-lace cheese called “Stettler Swiss”. Steve also adds to his resume the fact that he is the only Master Cheesemaker in cheese curds!
Chalet Cheese Cooperative’s Master Cheesemaker Jamie Fahrney was awarded in 2015 for total high score in all Wisconsin cheese competitions. Chalet Cheese is the only factory in the U.S. that still makes limburger cheese! Who can say they’ve tried the “revered and feared for its legendary aroma” limburger?
Sid Cook is a fourth-generation cheesemaker at Carr Valley Cheese, the most award-winning cheese company in the world! Carr Valley produces over 100 products, including unique cow, sheep, goat and mixed milk variety cheeses, blue cheeses, bread cheeses, spreads, snack sticks and artisan butters!