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LaClare Family Creamery Invests $10 Million

LaClare Family Creamery Invests $10 Million

Monday, October 21st, 2019

When I think of goat cheese, the word “Chevre” almost immediately comes to mind. I’m unsure of when the term made its way into my lexicon, but its inarguably a sign of refined taste. I’m not alone in my love of Chevre, as America’s appetite for the cheese has continued to grow. LaClare Family Creamery has experienced this demand first-hand, as its business has tripled since beginning to produce Chevre cheeses, leading the company to make a $10 million investment.

Bill Ritcey, Vice President of Sales, LaClare Family Creamery"We weren't making Chevre three years ago and now it's one of the fastest growing cheeses in the country," said Bill Ritcey, Vice President of Sales, to Wisconsin State Farmer. "The demand is so great that we are up 308 percent in sales and our plans for next year are similar to that."

With LaClare’s recent investment, the company expects to become an industry leader in the Chevre category. This move will double the company’s operational footprint, expanding its facilities by 28,000 square feet. The Hedrich family, who founded LaClare, partnered with Kaukauna-based Milk Source to make this expansion possible.

"Milk Source has a reputation for first-class milk production; LaClare is world renowned for its quality cheesemaking—so the combination of talent and vision came naturally to both," said Avi Stern, Director of Public Affairs for Milk Source. "They have the know-how, the heritage, the tradition, and the people, and we have the top-quality milk."

According to the news source, Wisconsin is a goat milk hub for the industry. With the demand for Chevre rising in the U.S., it’s paramount that these companies take the necessary steps to meet it. Not only have consumers taken to dunking their crackers in the cheese, but they’ve began experimenting with it in different recipes (sprinkled over a strawberry and spinach salad is a personal favorite).

LaClare Family Creamery is investing $10 million into its facilities as its business has tripled since beginning to produce Chevre cheeses

"The growing desire for dairy goat products in the U.S.—combined with the ability of this region to meet that demand—makes us uniquely positioned to satisfy customers," Ritcey said. “We have goat milk just 35 minutes away from here. The less that milk has to be transported and agitated, the better your cheese product is going to be."

Along with the expansion of its facility, LaClare has invested in new maturation tanks that will refine the cheese’s extraordinary taste from the beginning. The company notes that its state-of-the-art equipment allows more opportunity to innovate the category. Aside from these recent changes, LaClare has plans for future expansion as well.

"There's at least three other phases where we could add on to the plant, plus with the space we have inside, we could expand our ability to produce cheese two and a half times, and with the efficiencies we have, that could go up to five times," said John Sharp, Project Manager for the expansion.

Congratulations to LaClare Creamery on this incredible move! To stay up to date on all things cheese, stick with us at Deli Market News.

LaClare Family Creamery