On the one hand, it's very simple: start with the best ingredients, and treat them with the respect and care they deserve, then let nature take its course. LaBelle cheese begins at the family-run Koepke Farms in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, where five generations of dairy farmers have carefully tended the land, as well as some of the most contented cows in the state.
It finishes up at the family-owned Cedar Grove Cheese factory in Plain, Wisconsin, where Master Cheesemaker Bob Wills combines the finest of old-world tradition with the latest organic techniques to culture that milk into a final product that ends up on the plates of some of the most contented cheese tasters in the country.
On the other hand, it's not so easy. Koepke Farms' success has been built on dedicated care for the cows and stewardship of the land. Click this link to learn more about them. It is the kind of place where much happens from before sun up at four in the morning to well past sunset throughout the year.
Cedar Grove continues to make a wide range of both traditional and small-batch artisanal cheeses by hand, without artificial ingredients or chemicals. That requires an attention to detail and a love of the craft that can be tasted in every bite. Click this link to learn more about them.
Whichever hand you choose, the most important hand is still the one holding the cracker, or the slice of bread, or the grilled mushroom cap, or the burger that's about to make LaBelle cheese part of your next meal. Enjoy!