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After 60 years of cheese making, Guiggisberg Cheese, Inc. will be celebrating a heritage of innovative craftsmanship and building community relationships this June.
The company's headquarters lie on state Route 557 just three miles outside Charm. Alfred Guggisberg started the business in 1950 when he took over Doughty Valley Cheese in Charm.
Guggisberg came from Switzerland, where he learned cheese-making craft from Swiss Federal "Molkereishulle" (the cheese maker's institute). When he came to Holmes County, he was able to work with local dairy farmers and provide a market for their milk.
Today Guggisberg Cheese Factory continues to use local milk, which marketing coordinator Ryan Ramsey said gives the cheese a distinct flavor.
"A lot of cheese from other places comes from larger farms and in Holmes County, it's a lot easier to give the animals private attention. It's a very unique flavor and I think that's reflected in our cheese," Ramsey said.
The Holmes County flavor translates to their signature baby Swiss cheese that originated at Guggisberg in the 1960s when Alfred's wife Margaret Guggisberg began to sell the new recipe at Buehler's supermarket in Wooster. Its popularity as a milder version of classic Swiss has grown ever since.
"That's a big reason people come and see us," Ramsey said.
Guggisberg cheese sells their product from Illinois to the east coast of the United States and Ramsey said he's seen the product in California and heard that it has traveled as far as Europe.
Since its beginning, the Guggisberg company has grown to include the restaurant Chalet in the Valley, located across from the store on SR 557, another factory facility in Sugarcreek and Deutsch Kaese Haus factory, which is a manufacturer of colby, marble and yogurt cheeses located in Middleburg, Indiana.
To commemorate their successes, Guggisberg Cheese Factory will host a festival 11 a.m.-5 p.m. June 26, featuring live music, inflatable bounce houses for children, live model milking demos, fondue demonstrations and festival food like cheese on a stick.
During the festivities, visitors will also be able to watch the cheese-making process. Normally, the store will show a video walkthrough Monday through Friday, so weekend tourists don't get
"We think it will be exciting for people who wouldn't normally get a chance to see the cheese-making process," Ramsey said.
For more information about the event, call 330-893-2500.