Hilmar Cheese Company, a leading processor of cheese and whey products, is celebrating its 25th anniversary.
Founded in 1984 by 12 Central California dairy families who owned Jersey cows, Hilmar Cheese Co. continues to operate its original manufacturing site in Hilmar, Calif. It's said to be the world's largest single-site cheese and whey products manufacturing operation.
A second Hilmar Cheese site, launched in 2007, operates in Dalhart, Texas. The area is a growing dairy region.
Still privately held, the company employs almost 1,000 people.
"A true ‘American dream' business story, we started as a concept scribbled on a napkin at a local coffee shop,” said Richard Clauss, chairman of the Hilmar Cheese Company board of directors. "And 25 years later, our products are sold in over 40 countries and our employees have built a reputation worldwide for excellence and quality.”
John Jeter is Hilmar's CEO and President, and the company's first employee.
According to its Web site, Hilmar Cheese Co.:
· processes more than 2 million gallons of milk (7.1 million liters) of milk each day received from more than 260 dairies and 160,000 cows;
· uses more than 20% Jersey milk in Hilmar, Calif., and more than 60% Jersey milk in Dalhart, Texas;
· produces more than 1.9 million pounds (more than 863 metric tons) of cheese each day;
· makes Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, Colby, Colby Jack, flavored Jacks, Mozzarella and Hispanic cheeses for use in food service, ingredients, retail and the restaurant/fast food trade.
Catherine Merlo is Western editor for Dairy Today. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.