The Accidental Cheesemakers

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This is the time of year that my wife Jill and I start reminiscing about how we got here; how we ended up in the business of cheese making. January 1st will be the 15th anniversary of Pedrozo Dairy and Cheese and I’d like to share this story from our family to yours so that you can get an idea about the journey that brought our cheese to you.

As a 3rd generation dairyman, I had been around the lifestyle for quite a while before we struck out on our own. We started out with 60 cows in Merced, California selling milk to other producers. We were always passionate about dairy and knew we wanted to provide something more than milk. It could be butter, yogurt or cheese, we just wanted to turn our milk into something creamy and delicious. In the fall of 1998 we received a unique opportunity to visit Orland, California to take a tour of a farm which included a proper farmstead cheese-making operation. We couldn’t turn it down. The farm was a great place and offered everything a fledgling cheese company could want. There was a production room, an aging room and of course, a special recipe which the owners happily shared once we decided to buy the farm from them and keep it all going.

So on New Year’s Eve in 1998 I took a chance, along with a trailer full of cows, and left Merced to head up to Orland and start Pedrozo Dairy and Cheese Co. My family, including my wife Jill and our children Tom, Laura and Mandy, followed the next day. On January 1st, 1999 we were ready to go and started figuring things out. We had to learn the process and it took us some time to adjust our recipe (it doesn’t stray too far from the original) but we’ve discovered what works best for us. The aging room has been updated and expanded but otherwise things look a lot like when we first came up all those years ago.

New Year’s Day is usually a time when people like to reflect on the previous year and make resolutions for the months ahead, but for us it has a different meaning. It’s the day everything started here and it means another year doing what we love, bringing high quality farmstead cheese to you. It’s a true blessing and we couldn’t be happier about the way it all worked out. Thank you for your business and support over the years.

May your family’s new year be filled with love, laughter and of course…cheese!

Take care,


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