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Emmi Roth + Meister Cheese = Kindred Creamery
Cheesemakers start joint venture in specialty cheeses
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MUSCODA — Emmi Roth USA, which has a facility in Platteville, and Meister Cheese Co. of Muscoda launched a joint venture, the new Kindred Creamery brand of classic specialty American cheese varieties.

“We created the Kindred Creamery brand with a desire to invoke the importance of integrity, equity and responsibility to our rural farmers, our community and our customers,” said Scott Meister, president of Meister Cheese, a third-generation company.

All of the milk used for the Kindred Creamery brand is provided via Meister Cheese’s Cows First animal welfare program. This program requires the cows to have unfettered access to the outdoors and to be free of Recombinant Bovine Somatotropin — also known as Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone. The program prohibits tail docking and animal byproducts in feed.

Meister Cheese partners with dairy farmers who combine the traditions of farming with the methods of modern technology, and farms are paid up to an additional $1 per hundredweight premium for adhering to the Cows First protocol. Farms within the program are annually certified by the third party auditor Validus, and are open to customer visits.

“The synergies and complementary strengths between our companies is what led to this partnership,” said Tim Omer, president and managing director of Emmi Roth USA. “Meister’s manufacturing capabilities and our artisan-with-scale aptitude have combined to create a new, exciting brand in Kindred Creamery.” 

“Being part of the Cow’s First milk program has really given our third-generation, family farm a sense of pride and financial vitality — all for doing things we already believe in,” said Michelle Winkers of MJJ Farm, LLC.

Kindred Creamery has made its debut on retailer shelves, and varieties will be available in 7-ounce wedges and 5-pound random weight loaves. The Kindred Creamery flavors include Sharp Cheddar, Medium Cheddar, Mild Cheddar, Colby Jack, Pepper Jack, Monterey Jack, Natural Smoked Gouda, Sweet Fire Mango Jack, Spicy Sriracha Jack, Wild Ginseng & Garlic Jack, Ghost Pepper Colby Jack, Hickory Smoked Cheddar and Forage Mushroom & Spring Onion Jack.

“I am excited to introduce the unique and interesting flavors under the Kindred Creamery banner,” said Vicki Thingvold, chief of Flavor Development and co-owner of Meister Cheese. “Our cheesemakers have deployed our 100 years of Cheddar- and Jack-making experience in offering our finest Wisconsin State Brand American cheeses.”

“Kindred Creamery will fill a void in the American cheese market,” said Tony Salathe, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Emmi Roth USA. “With Emmi Roth’s and Meister’s rich, award-winning history in cheesemaking, the resulting product line is robust with an array of enticing flavors we are pleased to be rolling out.”