Grafton Village Cheese Hires New Technician

Publish Notes: 

The Valley Business Journal Oct. 2010

Grafton Village Cheese Hires New Technician
Grafton Village Cheese Hires New Technician

GRAFTON, VT.-The Grafton Village Cheese Company recently announced the hiring of award-winning cheese technologist Dane Huebner, who comes to Grafton from Flat Creek Lodge in Swainsboro, Ga., where his "sharp-to-aged bandaged cheddar," was recently recognized at the 2010 World Cheese Championship Contest in Madison, WI.


Photos courtesy of Grafton Village Cheese
In fact, Huebner not only took home two gold medals and one silver at the prestigious event, but has won 15 cheesemaking awards over the last year.
With a decade of experience in cheese technology, Huebner brings extensive knowledge in cheesemaking and will mostly focus on creating new flavors and developing new aging processes for specialty cheeses. "I’ve been making cheese for just over seven years now, with my degree in Microbiology from the University of Wisconsin," Huebner said in a recent interview.

"I'm a licensed Wisconsin Cheesemaker and Cheese Grader, and also hold certificates in Cheese Technology, Applied Dairy Chemistry, Customizing Cheese Flavor and Affinage, which is cheese aging. I was the Head Cheesemaker and Dairy Plant Manager at Flat Creek Lodge in Swainsboro and before that, was the Research Chef at Cedar Grove Cheese in Plain, WI. I possess extensive working experience in both laboratories and restaurant kitchens."

Some of Huebner's duties will include a concentration on product research, development and grading, employee training and various consumer education programs. He also brings to the table some of his own limited-release, award-winning cheese recipes. "I am very excited to be in Vermont, with it's rich history and tradition of cheesemaking."

The Grafton Village Cheese Company was originally founded in 1892 as The Grafton Cooperative Cheese Company, a group of local dairy farmers who joined forces to turn their surplus of milk into cheese. Several decades after a fire had destroyed the original factory in 1912, the non-profit Windham Foundation restored the company in the mid-1960's. According to the Vermont Cheese Council, there are currently around 50 official members, producing over 150 varieties of artisan and farmstead cheese throughout the state. That equals more cheesemakers per capita then any other state in America.

So what exactly attracted Huebner to venture from Wisconsin to Vermont, to join the Grafton Village Cheese Company family? "Vermont is a great territory to be making cheese. It’s also cool to be working for a cheese company that is owned by a foundation(Windham Foundation.)Currently, we are developing a few limited-release flavors such as Fiesta Cheddar, a layered Chipotle and Cilantro."
With rising dairy costs, Grafton Village Cheese has also begun networking with other local farmers and cheese artisans in hopes of partnering with more localized companies.

"We have a strong commitment to local farmers and use milk from small Vermont family farms," Huebner concluded. "We are very particular about our milk and believe the only way we can get the premium milk we need to meet our cheese flavor profile, is by working closely with local farmers. Also, as part of the Windham Foundation-whose mission is to promote Vermont’s rural communities-we believe that the Vermont brand plays a big role in our sales."

The Grafton Village Cheese Company has two facilities, each complete with retail store and viewing window. The original is located at 55 Townshend Road in Grafton, VT. 05146 and the other is located at 400 Linden Street in Brattleboro, Vt. 05301 The telephone number is 800.472.3866; the email address is info@graftonvillagecheese.com. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., daily. The web site is www.graftonvillagecheese.com.