In the Blue Ridge Mountains, Ashe County is renowned for its mountain landscapes and a history as rich as the valleys that cradle it. Embark on a flavorful journey through time to savor the delectable history of Ashe County Cheese.
The tantalizing tale of Ashe County Cheese commenced in 1930, under the auspices of the Kraft Corporation. Kraft played a pivotal role in the consolidation of several small community cheese plants in the region. Armed with expertise and resources, they set out to produce cheddar daisy wheels, destined to grace tables nationwide. For nearly half a century, Kraft expertly operated the plant until a significant transition in 1975.
A New Chapter: Chesley Hazlewood Takes the Helm
In 1975, Ashe County Cheese experienced a transformative moment as Kraft Corporation passed the torch to Chesley Hazlewood, who had been managing the plant. This pivotal shift marked the beginning of a new era in the life of the beloved cheese-making establishment. Under Mr. Hazlewood’s leadership, the business thrived until his untimely passing in 1980.
The Arrival of Jerry Glick and Doug Rudersdorf
1981 ushered in a new phase for Ashe County Cheese when Mrs. Hazlewood decided to pass the legacy to two cheese connoisseurs hailing from the cheese heartland of Wisconsin – Jerry Glick and Doug Rudersdorf. The dynamic duo wasted no time in revitalizing the cheese plant and the adjacent cheese store, diligently upgrading both. They even introduced a viewing room within the plant, opening the doors for visitors to witness the art of cheese-making firsthand. It was during this period that Ashe County Cheese emerged as a cherished tourist attraction, captivating visitors from near and far.
The Torch Passes to Newburg Corners Cheese Inc.
Finally, in 1994, a new chapter in the cheese’s chronicle unfolded as Interlaken Capital handed over the reins to Newburg Corners Cheese Inc., a Wisconsin Corporation masterminded by Mike Everhart and Tom Torkelson, the current custodians of the legacy. With Everhart relocating to Ashe County with his family in 1995 to oversee the company, Ashe County Cheese found itself under the capable hands of an accomplished team.
The Ashe County Cheese Factory Tour
Today, visitors to Ashe County can experience the rich history and cheese-making heritage by taking a tour of the Ashe County Cheese Factory. The guided tours offer a behind-the-scenes look at the cheese-making process, from milk processing to aging. Visitors can witness skilled cheese makers crafting delicious cheeses and even sample a variety of cheeses at the end of the tour.
Ashe County Cheese, with its journey spanning nearly a century, embodies the essence of perseverance, dedication, and passion. From its humble beginnings under Kraft Corporation’s wing to becoming a cherished tourist attraction and a beacon of excellence in cheese making, it is a testament to the enduring spirit of Ashe County. Today, Ashe County Cheese stands not only as a symbol of culinary delight but also as a living testament to the rich history and traditions of this captivating region in North Carolina. Every bite of its creamy, flavorful cheese carries with it the flavors and stories of generations past, making it an indispensable part of Ashe County’s legacy.
Ashe County Realty is your trusted partner in finding the ideal property in this stunning region. With a wide range of land for sale in Ashe County and homes that offer the perfect blend of comfort and mountain charm, we’re here to help you make your dream a reality. Explore our listings today and embark on a journey to call Ashe County your home.