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Community & Business

3 January, 2023

Blue Sky Cheese takes out royal honours

Mendooran based cheese makers Blue Sky Cheese continue to go from strength to strength and have shown that it takes more than just expensive equipment and facilities to make a quality product.

By Telden Nelson

Deb Kiem and Pip Archer of Blue Sky Cheese.

Local cheese makers Blue Sky Cheese of Mendooran have shown they’ve got what it takes to stand up against the big-name brands. Deb Kiem and Pip Archer entered two of their cheeses into the Sydney Royal Cheese and Dairy Produce Show and came up with big results. Their Pippy Wippy Swiss cheese and Harvest Halloumi both won silver medals at the event, with their swiss taking out the top score for the show.

“We’re really pleased with it. We’re making the cheese in a tin shed at the showground by hand and we’re up against all the big brand names which have all the equipment and personnel,” said Mrs Kiem.

“We were very excited, and the philosophy is, even if we don’t win it’s still great to be up there and judged against the bigger names.

"It’s really good to see that you can do it, it doesn’t matter how little you are, you can still put on your big cowgirl boots and step up."

“You also get a lot of really good feedback on your product from the scoring.”

Mrs Kiem said that it was also great to get the name of small place like Mendooran out there, with all the score sheets reading “Blue Sky Cheese – Handmade in Mendooran”. The local cheesemaker said that the feedback from the event will help them continue to improve their products.

One big thing that helped in pushing themselves to this success was the support of the community. Without that local support Mrs Kiem says that may not have had the self-belief to enter at all.

“What helps you believe in your product and being able to put it up against the big brands, is the really good following in the area. We have a lot of support from the region and everybody is telling us to go for it. That really gives us a lot of courage to take the next step.”

The future is bright for Blue Sky Cheese and they aren’t wasting any time in taking their next steps and expanding their range. One of these new cheeses is hard to find in Australia, but many would be familiar with two British claymation cheese lovers who have made it their calling card.

“We’ve got some new cheeses on the go, we’ve partnered up with a producer of Australian native finger limes in Kyogle and we’re putting that in our feta.

“We’re also testing the production of a cheese we’re going to call Warrumbungle Wensley Dale cheese. Some people say that isn’t even a cheese and I say you haven’t watched Wallace and Gromit.

"Wensley Dale is really hard to find in Australia and we’re going to wax it in some blue wax. We’re tinkering with if it’s going to be a blue cheese or just a white cheese.”

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