Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Gingerbread Jersey

A little more than one year after taking the leap to open their own cheesemaking facility and retail store, an Augusta dairy farm family is responding to growing demand by opening a second retail outlet and kicking off a new product line.

Virgil and Carolyn Schunk of Gingerbread Jersey Cheese opened a second retail store this week in the Awards and More mini-mall just east of the intersection of Seymour and State Hwy. 53 in Eau Claire to sell their full line of cheeses and other Wisconsin products.

Their original store and modular cheesemaking facility with observation deck for customers in Augusta will continue to operate - it's quite a sight to see Virgil making cheese in what is basically a mobile, semi-truck trailer that has been converted into a cheesemaking plant. The unit was developed by Darlington Dairy Supply and is affectionately known as "Cheese on Wheels."


The Schunks told me they are excited to kick off a new fresh mozzarella line with the opening of this new store, as well as offering goat cheeses and their full line of Gingerbread Jersey cheese. Carolyn said her goal is to keep their fourth-generation dairy farm in the family and to provide hope and a future for her children in agriculture.

The Schunks make a variety of cheese from the milk of their own family's dairy cow herd, including specialty cheddars, colbys, monterey jacks and specialty line of European-style Gouda and Swiss. Virgil also crafts goat cheeses, including chevre, cheddar, monterey jack, gouda and parmesan from the milk of a local dairy goat farmer. Their cheeses have been featured in several fine restaurants and are gaining popularity state-wide.