Cheesemakers keep success in the family
Tipperary dairy going from strength to strength with blue brands
Ireland's biggest farmhouse cheese-maker has just got bigger. The Cashel Blue dairy that has been churning out cheese by the barrel for the best part of 30 years hit a ceiling a few years ago in terms of the volume it could produce. At that time, the dairy was producing five tonnes of cheese a week.
However, that is all set to change following a €6m investment in a new dairy that was opened last week.
Designed by family member and heritage architect Brian Grubb, the Grubb family hopes to eventually double production to 500t a year.
It's a far cry from that day in 1984 when Jane Grubb cut her first Cashel Blue curds in her mother-in-law's copper preserving pan in the kitchen of Beechmount House and then matured it in their earthen floor cellar.
Jane had been experimenting with several different types of cheese since she and her husband, Louis, had decided to move back to the family farm in Co Tipperary in 1978.
Louis had spent the previous years studying agriculture and botany and working as an agricultural adviser in the west of Ireland.
When he returned home, the farm was still being run as a mixed enterprise, with a few hens, pigs and a range of livestock.
Deciding to heed the advice he had been dishing out to farmers for the best part of a decade, Louis set about establishing a dairy herd.