Trevor Dunford, Saul and Sheree Sullivan are the proud creators of great Australian Cheese. They’re a family owned and operated business that’s ‘Udderly’ passionate about creating delicious cheeses for all Australians to enjoy. Starting from humble beginnings in the picturesque Adelaide Hills they grew a simple idea of wholesome handmade cheese into one of Australia’s leading artisan cheese producers.
My story – “I have often been described as the Accidental Entrepreneur and it all started when my parents dreamt of farming a small patch of land in the Adelaide Hills, with the desire to build a wholesome lifestyle and a rewarding retirement. It began with raspberry and fig farming (YUM), which led to a couple of goats to eat the cane clippings.
We milked our goats ‘Nora and Nell’ and sold the small amount of their milk on the side. The goat dairy continued to grow, but when we were told one day that we would have our goats milk price slashed, Dad decided to value add the milk ourselves and try our luck at making artisan goat cheese.
Being a builder my father was not daunted by physically building a cheese factory. I decided to put my hand up to take on the cheese making and business management – a slightly daunting project for me as I only had a degree in Jazz Piano to my name. Years of trial, error and big risks saw successes and failures come and go.
Soon afterwards I met my now husband Saul Sullivan and together we took over the reins of what my parents had started, and as a family we relentlessly pushed the business forward.
We branched out to also create cows milk cheeses, and in time the scarifies and hard work began to reward our efforts. Our original cheese making room was only the size of a shipping container, but from there we worked hard to grow our family business into one that supports almost 50 local staff members and their families. We also buy our milk directly from several local cow and goat dairy farming families.
The desire to connect further with our customers meant selling everything Saul and I owned to fund the opening of our Udder Delights Cheese Cellar in 2006 – which has now been awarded the Hall of Fame for ‘Excellence in Food Tourism’ after winning gold in the State category three years in a row.
Saul has continued to hone his exceptional cheese making skill, and was the first Australian cheese maker to legally produce and sell the nation’s first raw milk blue cheese – King Saul Raw Blue.
Being Australian and calling this great nation our home gives us drive towards our quest — to make great cheese for all Australians to enjoy.
So join me, my family and all of our staff in celebrating the great produce we Australians can create and a bright exciting future ahead!” – Sheree Sullivan