Our company owns and operates four of the oldest and smallest cheese plants in the United States. Over 60 small family farmers supply us with their milk every day. Our 110 employees, led by ten Wisconsin licensed cheesemakers, make over 35 varieties of cheese representing dozens of ethnic traditions. Over the years, our cheesemakers have demonstrated their talents by producing "grand champion cheeses" of many varieties. In fact, our skilled cheesemakers have trophies that cover the range of traditional cheeses plus our newer, more distinctive varieties.
The facts about our company's history are a bit obscured due to the lack of records, we do know that our oldest factory, the "Leader" plant, has been continuously making cheese for at least 150 years. You see, the earliest real estate deed we can find for the property simply says that when the factory was sold to our predecessors in 1839 it was being used as a "cheese factory". That makes the plant the oldest functioning cheese plant in Wisconsin! Our other two plants are comparatively new -- they merely date back to the turn of the century.
At that time, there were over 4000 cheese factories in Wisconsin. Today there are fewer than 150. Our four plants are among the few that have survived the pressures of change. We have done so by investing in plant improvements (the Leader plant, for instance, is now one of the smallest USDA approved plants in the country) and changing the types of cheese we produce. By applying our cheesemakers' skills to producing new varieties of cheese and constantly seeking to improve our product quality, we have been able to increase our plants' production and double their employment in the past five years.
We are proud to continue Wisconsin's tradition of producing the finest cheese to the most exacting standards. We plan to do so with more cheesemaking innovations through the 21st century!