The Big Cheese of Artisan Handcrafted Produce - Coolamon Cheese Co.

The Big Cheese of Artisan Handcrafted Produce - Coolamon Cheese Co.

Based in the Riverina region, Coolamon Cheese Co. produces a range of handcrafted and expertly perfected cheeses sure to ignite even the most discerning of taste palettes. Inspired by a generation of passionate cheesemakers, they’re now led by internationally acclaimed Jenn Nestor. Sit back, grab yourself a cheese board and learn more about the magic of Coolamon Cheese Co.

A passion shared

Coolamon Cheese Co was founded in 2015 by Barry Lillywhite. Though a relatively new business, the traditional process of making cheese was something that Barry was keen to uphold. Upon Barry’s retirement in 2019, these fascinating processes sparked the interest of Jenn Nestor.

Jenn jumped at the chance to take on the position as the head cheesemaker… or ‘The Big Cheese’ as we like to call her. Today, she combines her own recipes with those of Barry’s; influenced by her cheesemaking mentor in an old-meets-new, award-winning compilation of skills.

Say Cheese!

If you’ve tried our vegetarian pasta, you’ll already know how good Jenn’s fetta tastes. And her cream cheese in our cheesecake, give me a second piece...

But have you ever wondered how cheese is produced? The process has been honed over years and everything is completed in-house under Jenn’s watchful eye.

The milk comes from a dairy just across the field, at a family farm run by Neil and Simone Jolliffe. Jenn personally collects the milk as part of her commitment to hands-on methods and the handcrafted nature of the final product.

Once she has the milk, it’s pasteurised; a process that is carefully monitored and tested to meet the highest level of food safety. It is then inoculated with carefully selected cultures (depending on the type of cheese she is making) before turning the cultured milk into curds.

“Proceeding on instincts born out of years of experience, she then begins with a deep appreciation of how the curd feels to her as she cuts and gently stirs to remove the right amount of moisture."

Coolamon Cheese Brand

Coolamon Cheese Brand

The curds are then moulded and turned regularly. This gives them all-important time to develop their unique aroma, texture and flavour. The maturation and turning time varies from one product to the next, so Jenn must once more keep an eye on her curdy delights to know when they’re just right. From curds to maturation, storage and point-of-sale, the flavour profile will continue to develop and evolve, creating a gastronomic experience for consumers.

Old meets new

Though Jenn likes to stick to the tried and tested traditional methods, she’s always looking to push the boundaries when it comes to flavour and appealing to a wider audience of cheese connoisseurs. One example is her recent Native Flavoured Range of cheeses features Indigenous Australian native herbs. She has also developed an award-winning, lactose-free range; still rich in the full-bodied Riverina milk flavour and suited to those with dietary requirements.

A celebration of Coolamon, The Riverina and beyond, we’re pleased to partner with local artisans who are rocking it in the food industry. Check out our vegetarian meal range to try it for yourself!

Coolamon Cheese

Coolamon Cheese

Photography: Coolamon Cheese Co.