WILSON, Wis. (WEAU) -- A busy summer of sales has come to a close for a local cheese factory. And now, it's starting to stock up on more cheese for the busy holiday season ahead.
Cady Cheese which is located just outside of Spring Valley has been making local cheese for more than 100 years. Even though things have changed through the years, one thing that has never changed is the love all Wisconsinites have for cheese.
"We make Colby, cheddar, Colby jack, Monterey jack, gouda cheese,” said Rick Anderson, the production manager. Cady Cheese has been making all kinds of cheese, 5 days a week, for more than 100 years and it's quite the process. "That typically takes about 4 hours from the start up milk to the end of the packaging,” Anderson added.
So what happens during those 4 hours? The first step is to pasteurize the milk in large vats. Then, they add in starter cultures to make the different flavors of cheese. "Making sure the pH is always in line, making sure we are meeting our specifications,” Anderson said.
Once that has spent time cooking, they send it over to the tables where the cheese is drained and salted. Then the cheese leaves the table to get pressed down into different cheese forms. Finally, the cheese is cut, packaged and ready to sell. "We had a really great summer, I think some of the temperate weather helped us a lot just in terms of people love that sunshine and 75 so a lot of people came to the store to get our fresh curds especially,” said Stephanie Miller, the marketing director.
Cady Cheese sells the cheese in its own store but also sell to grocery stores and other food vendors. "Grocery stores now start to put their holiday cheese orders in and we start to build production for the holidays because we sell a lot of cheese for Thanksgiving and Christmas,” Miller said.
Even though they say sales decrease from January through April, the cheesemakers are still working hard to build up inventory for the next season. "Cheese has to age so most cheese you want to age it for a while before you eat it so we are producing for the holidays sometimes up to 6 months prior to that Christmas so right in the middle of summer is a lot of our holiday production,” Miller said.
Even though tourists from all over stop by Cady Cheese, the cheese itself is all local. "Only our farmers deliver milk to our factories so it is very much a fully integrated, it's our milk, we know what cows are being milked to make our cheese so it's a very unique set up,” Miller added.