Pepper-jack tops Championship Cheese Contest

Heritage Ridge Grand Champions

Pepper-jack cheese produced under the Heritage Ridge Creamery brand at Michigan Milk Producers Association’s Middlebury, Indiana cheese plant was recently named Grand Champion Cheese. The award was presented by the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) last week at the federation’s annual meeting in California.

The annual contest includes cheese made by dairy cooperatives belonging to NMPF. A record 194 entries totaling 3,070 pounds of cheese products were submitted in the 2017 contest. Heritage Ridge pepper-jack placed first in the hot or spicy cheese category and then went on to win the overall best cheese prize. This is the first year MMPA has entered a product in the cheese contest.

“We are honored our product was recognized nationally, a testament to high quality milk from our farms and the craftsmanship of our cheesemakers,” said Jim Feeney, senior director of sales for the MMPA. “We strive to exceed our customers’ expectations everyday with the quality products in our portfolio.”

The Heritage Ridge Creamery brand markets cheese produced at the Middlebury, Indiana plant and sold in the on-site retail store. The cheese plant produces Colby cheese, a softer, milder flavored cheddar cheese, in addition to cheddar, pepper-jack, Amish Creamery cheese and other flavors.

Heritage Ridge Creamery is a brand of Middlebury Cheese Company, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of MMPA. The farmer-owned cooperative acquired the facility in 2016 and is currently reviewing options to increase capacity and expand product offerings.

1,250 cups of ice cream served at Customer Appreciation Day

Customer Appreciation Day at Heritage Ridge Creamery

Over 2,000 customers visited the Heritage Ridge Creamery store during the community event, enjoying free ice cream made with a steam powered engine, activities for children and store specials. In total, 1,250 cups of ice cream were served throughout the day. One lucky attendee won free cheese for a year in the annual raffle.

 

Introducing Heritage Ridge Creamery

Contact the Heritage Ridge Creamery

Slice it. Break it. Cube it. Pair it with grapes. Or apples. Or summer sausage. Cheese is what we’re talking about and at the Michigan Milk Producers Association’s recently acquired cheese plant, we’re taking the reins to put our own mark on the delicious varieties produced from our farmers’ high-quality milk.

From Colby to cheddar to Amish Creamery and more, the cheeses will welcome a label marked “Heritage Ridge Creamery,” as MMPA markets the farmer-owned product for lovers of classic cheeses.

MMPA’s Indiana cheese plant launched the Heritage Ridge Creamery brand on June 24 during a community Customer Appreciation Day event. The name has been in development since MMPA assumed ownership of the plant in fall 2016. The new brand reflects both the heritage of the plant in its Amish community and the robust history of MMPA as a farmer-owned cooperative.

“With our acquisition of the Indiana cheese plant last fall, we were enthused by the opportunity to diversify our product portfolio and develop a brand owned by our dairy farmer members,” Joe Diglio, MMPA general manager, said. “Our new Heritage Ridge Creamery brand demonstrates our commitment in expanding our presence within the dairy industry while embracing the legacy of the community.”

Today customers visited the Heritage Ridge Creamery store, enjoying free ice cream made with a steam powered engine, activities for children and store specials during the Customer Appreciation Event.

The Heritage Ridge Creamery brand will market cheese produced at the Middlebury plant and sold in the on-site retail store. An online store is currently in development and expected to go live later this year at heritageridgecreamery.com. The facility produces Colby cheese, a softer, milder flavored cheddar cheese, in addition to Colby-Jack, Cheddar, Pepper-Jack cheese and other flavors.

The acquisition last year positions MMPA to further explore expansion opportunities at the Middlebury plant location in the future, starting with the launch of this new brand and internal improvements in plant operations. The facility currently processes approximately 400,000 pounds of milk per day into longhorn and deli horn cheeses, and is operated by MMPA’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Middlebury Cheese Company, LLC.

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