After a two-year process of construction and preparation, the Kasemeister Creamery, located in the Spink Hutterite Colony (18206 Spink Lane, Frankfort), will open its doors to the public on May 1.
The creamery, a 70-by-200 foot building, is currently producing butter and cheese. Some types of cheese the creamery will offer include Pepper Jack, Colby, sharp cheddar and mild cheddar with flavors such as ranch, horse radish, jalapeno, habanero, applewood smoke, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper, just to name a few.
Parry Sterner, of the Redfield Press, took a second tour of the creamery on Thursday, March 29, after his initial tour last year. With equipment shipped from Canada now installed, the creamery is already fully functioning.
“All of the aged cheddars are aged for eight months,” said creamery manager, Paul Wipf. “We did Colby yesterday. We have to wait three days to cut it for a fresh Colby.”
During the tour, Sterner met the president of Sanitary Design Industries, Neville McNaughton, who oversaw the construction of the new creamery. McNaughton, originally from New Zealand and now living in St. Louis, Missouri, is a former Calabro Cheese Company consultant and current CheezSorce owner. He is also a World Champion Cheese contest judge with a diploma in Dairy Technology from Massey University in Palmerston North, New Zealand. A consultant for dairies and creameries across the country, he is sometimes referred to as “Dr. Cheese.”
“These gentlemen built an amazing plant. It looks clean. It is clean. It will stay clean,” said McNaughton.
Keeping a sterile environment is important in producing high-quality cheese. According to Wipf, every step of the process in the creation of the creamery was overseen by the state inspector, Scott Schelske, to ensure it was clean, safe and up to code. During the tour, Sterner was also asked to put on a suit, shoe coverings and a hair covering in order to observe the cheese making process. Wipf walked through each area of the building and described to Sterner how the cheese is moved from the salting table to the separator in order to separate out the whey and cream.
“After it goes through the separator, they take the cream and make butter out of it,” said Wipf. “We feed the whey back to the cows for protein, so there is no waste at all.”
Spink Colony owns the only dairy in Spink County today. Other dairies in Spink County have each long-since shut down. With it being the last dairy left, colony members began to brainstorm ideas on what could help keep it running several years ago. Hence, the idea for the creamery was born.
“We decided to take it to the next level and add value to it,” said Wipf. “It has been on our minds for a number of years. I still want to milk, but it wasn’t profitable enough.”
As Wipf continued to point out the machines and tools used in the cheese making process, he also described how the cheese originally comes out in 40 pound slabs before being cut with wires down to eight ounces.
“We can have the 40 pound blocks down to eight ounce blocks in two minutes,” said Wipf.
Kasemeister Creamery cheese will not only be available at the creamery, but will also be sold in local supermarkets in the near future, Wipf said. Meanwhile, Spink County residents are encouraged to wait just a little while longer until opening day on May 1.