Udder Delights – by Kendrea Rhodes

Udder Delights by Kendrea RhodesOnce upon a time, a man was selling raspberries.

A customer noticed the man also had goats and inquired to purchase some milk.

This gave the man an idea, upon which he built an empire.

A Fairytale perhaps? Or is there a thread of truth here? Trevor Dunford, of Lobethal, is the raspberry seller and his empire, which began in 1995, is cheese. Udder Delights is a successful family business with a factory in Lobethal, a cellar door in Hahndorf and customers nationwide.

It now employs over 20 local hills people and its products are in high demand.

Trevor started small and had help from his entire family. He and his wife Estelle, milked a heard of goats, morning and night for 5 years. Their two children, Andrew and Sheree, helped out on a daily basis and their grandparents helped build the factory in Lobethal. While up a tree one day, Andrew had one of those light bulb moments, in which he came up with the name “Udder Delights”.

This name sits well with diversifying the business into other milk products and has allowed them to ease into their new range of cow milk cheeses. In 1999 Sheree graduated from university with a Bachelor of Music. She asked her dad if she could work at the cheese factory just for a bit of a change, and Trevor says they haven’t looked back since. They went from a small, 1 person factory to employing 12 people with national distributors and customers all over the country.

Then in 2006, Sheree opened the Hahndorf Cheese Cellar in order to get their products to local Hills residents. Not only can you purchase from their range of products, such as their signature cheese, goat’s Chevre or the new cow’s Heysen Blue, they also run a wonderful café, open 7 days a week. Sheree’s husband, Saul Sullivan now runs the factory in Lobethal where all the science and flare of cheese-making occurs.

While talking about the history of the business, Trevor gave me a quick tour of the factory and the cheese making process. After donning a hair net, protective clothing and footwear, I was declared “worthy” to enter the cheese-making rooms.

A fascinating process unfolded before me; watching the milk go through the heat exchanger, being brought to the Pasteurisation temperature, rennet being added, cutting curd and moulding cheeses, storage, maturity and packaging. There’s much more to this process than I’ve explained and many clever improvements and inventions specific to Udder Delights, which have all contributed to their success.

Trevor and Estelle have stopped milking their own goats and now purchase both cow and goat milk locally from farms that manage their animals with the same practices and high standards. This is a great story of a family who have worked hard together and built a thriving business, here in the hills. For more information see www.udderdelights.com.au.

Udder Delights by Kendrea Rhodes

The friendly faces of Hahndorf workers, Sara and Jacob.