LaClare Family Creamery has announced the completion of a $10 million expansion that will make it a national leader in Chevre cheese production.
The creamery, established in 1979, essentially doubles its operational footprint with the 28,000-square-foot addition.
The bolstered capacity will put the focus squarely on the increasingly popular Chevre, a soft goat milk cheese, said Bill Ritcey, vice president of sales.
“The growing desire for dairy goat products in the U.S. combined with the ability of this particular region to meet that demand makes us uniquely positioned to satisfy consumers,” he said.
The project includes investments in French Cheese Presses, packaging equipment, specialized air-handling equipment and other technology “to create the perfect Chevre-making environment,” said Adam Schrot, LaClare plant manager.
In addition, the expansion increases LaClare’s cold storage and maintenance capacities.
The expansion will allow LaClare to produce Chevre in various sizes for both the retail and food service markets. “It will also allow us to be even more innovative in developing and introducing sophisticated flavors today’s consumers are looking for,” said Jennifer Kutz, LaClare’s head cheesemaker.
The project reaches completion just a couple months after LaClare’s low-fat goat milk won First Place and Best of Class (cow or goat’s 2% milk) at the Wisconsin State Fair Dairy Products Contest. “When making cheese, the quality of the milk we use is paramount,” Kutz noted. “Our goat milk is known for it’s fresh, clean flavor. That means you can expect superior quality and taste from all of our cheeses.”
Last year, LaClare Family Creamery teamed up with fellow Wisconsin artisanal cheesemaker Saxon Creamery and Verona,PA-based Italian creamery, Lamagna Cheese, to form Mosaic Meadows, a partnership that will allow each operation to sell, service and market nationwide.