Knowlton cheese plant keeps traditions going - WFXS, MyFoxWausau - News and Weather for Wausau, WI

Knowlton cheese plant keeps traditions going


When it comes to cheese, there is no state quite like Wisconsin.  And for Bill Mullins, there is no place like home. 

Mullins is vice president of Mullins cheese in Knowlton.  And though the dairy industry is big business in our state, Mullins says he's carrying on a family tradition.   

"My dad actually got a job working with my grandpa, that's how he met my mom, and that's why we're here today" Mullins said.

Mullins says his family has always relied on local farms for its core ingredients. 

"We buy the milk from 850 dairymen within a 120 mile radius" Mullins said.

Here's how the process works.  Milk from Wisconsin's cows is trucked into the plant and poured into enormous cookers.  Heat thickens the substance for it to be cut into small clumps making it look like cottage cheese.

"Air pushes them through onto a salting table, and then the curds as they're mixed up get salt applied" Mullins explained.

From there it is churned, mixed and moved until it's ready to be chopped into blocks, and cooled. 

One day's worth of work will yield enough cheese to fill twelve semi truck trailers.

"We sell it to companies like Sargento, Marathon Cheese, US Food Service, and these people slice it, cube it, chunk it, and then sell it to all their retail groups" Mullins said.   

Three generations have passed since Mullins cheese was opened.  But one thing Mullins says will never change is Wisconsin's appetite for this dairy delicacy.       

"Everybody has a different taste for food" Mullins said. 

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