Say cheese

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Manager and head cheesemaker of Woodside Cheese Wrights, Kris Lloyd, takes pride in being an artisan cheesemaker at her South Australian company. We’ve got good systems in place and we’ve got great staff, people that are really passionate about the cheeses and passionate about making them good.“We’re not mechanised, we really are true artisans…we make to traditional methods and we don’t use machinery to mix the curd,” she says. But an artisan business can only expand so much, Lloyd says. “People ask me how big I’m going to grow, but being an artisan you can only grow so much and I think it comes to a point where you grow and you’re no longer an artisan, and that’s not where we want to go,” she said. A range of seasonal cheeses at Woodside Cheese Wrights, which were initially introduced to overcome shortages of goat’s milk during winter, gained positive response from consumers. “People actually now have gotten used to the fact that we make cheeses in a seasonal manner, and they look forward to them, there’s a good acceptance of it and I guess a celebration of it as well,” Lloyd said. Woodside Cheese Wrights, which distributes Australia wide as well as to the Phillipines, produces around 60 tonnes of cheese a year, with between eight to twelve employees at any given time. “It’s a tiny team in the scheme of things,” Lloyd said, adding “there’s an enormous amount of skills required from the cheesemakers; we do long lactic sets over night, ladle the curd, drain it in cheese cloth bags and mix it by hand.” Lloyd’s pathway into cheesemaking was somewhat unexpected. “It never really was my intention to make cheese…I learnt totally and purely by accident,” she said. While working in her family business, a vineyard in South Australia’s McLaren Vale area, Lloyd was developing food products; olive oil, ver juice and vinegars, and wanted to add cheeses to the business range. Learning everything on the job, Lloyd said she picked up the skills and enjoyed cheesemaking. Today she trains all of her staff. “I train everyone at cheese, I just think it means that people have learnt one way and then there’s less risk of inconsistencies in the product and I think that’s one thing that consumers are not all that forgiving about; they want the product to be good all the time, everytime. So quality is absolutely paramount when you’re making cheese, but a lot of things can go wrong when you make cheese too”. Lloyd attributes the success of her business to the team she works with. “We’ve got good systems in place and we’ve got great staff, people that are really passionate about the cheeses and passionate about making them good… it’s not just me, it’s a team of people that actually produce the positive outcome,” she said. Lloyd said being acknowledged as a finalist for the South Australian sector of this year’s Telstra’s Business Womens Awards, is very positive. “I know what the calibre of women are in Australia and I’m just happy to be a finalist,” she says.last_img read more