Blyth Farm Cheese takes pride in producing high quality cheese. For generations the Van Dorps have worked in agriculture. In 2000, Paul & Helen and their family moved to Canada and started a successful sheep operation. In 2008, the cheese plant was started. Paul became a certified milk grader and certified milk receiver, and in 2011 he received the permits from OMAFRA to operate the cheese plant. Since that time, they have increased their production and flavor varieties.
Currently, the Van Dorp's are raising sheep & meat lambs and they will be switching to dairy sheep in the near future. They do not sell the wool … after shearing it doesn’t make economical sense at this time.
Buying goats milk from a partner, the milk is in the pasteurizer (capacity 1000L) for one hour then flows through stainless steel pipes to the cheese vats. They bring the temperature to 29 degrees for gouda (cheddar, a cooking cheese would be 85 degrees).
The curd is then washed and culture is added to prevent bacteria growth. Then they add rennet and wash three times until the milk sugar has almost completely disappeared.
Everyday the milk’s fat content is completely different depicting the length of washing. The skill of the cheesemaker is called upon to make their product consistent.
The "Make Room" (factory) has a 1000 Litres (L) and a 500 L vat so the Van Dorp's can make 1500 L at one time. They use the 1000L vat for Golden Blyth “Plain” and the smaller vat for specialty flavoured cheeses like jalopeno, nettle, wine-soaked and cumin.
Forms are filled with the curd, covered with a lid and then pressed. They are left 4-6 hours in the molds until it forms a “nice cover” Then the blocks move to tubs in the brining room. Brine is a salted water. The temperature in this room is 5 degrees. If the cheese is saturated with salt it won’t allow bacteria growth. The cheese stays in the brine for 48 hours. The liquid needs to reach the centre as this is what flavours the cheese. A thin layer of salt is sprinkled on the top to prevent drying out.
The blocks are now waxed and moved to the aging room. The hard yellow wax coating protects the cheese further from bacteria growth. An alternate is a washed rind where the block is immersed in a salt water solution. Both finishes are required based on consumer demand.
Ages at 14 Degrees until marketed; Mild is 4-6 months and Blyth Farm Cheese gouda is best at 1 year old. In the winter they heat the factory and in the summer they cool it to maintain proper temperatures.
Factory includes a packaging and shipping area. Cheese is vacuum sealed, bar-coded and labelled to meet Ontario Food Safety requirements. Blyth Farm Cheese has a provincial inspection quarterly. No federal inspection is required as this farmer's goal is to saturate just Ontario.
Most of the marketing is done in-house. One son, a trained software engineer, is working full time on the farm.
Paul & his wife have five boys and one daughter. Paul feels the change-over to dairy sheep will enable three families to live comfortably from the cheese business.
They came to Canada from Holland in 2000 where both he and his wife were cheesemakers. Paul has also studied cheesemaking with Dr Art Hill at Guelph.
The Van Dorp’s continue to return to Holland to learn new Cheese-making technique/ latest business development practices and purchase equipment.
The Family was drawn to settle here as Huron County is proven to be a fertile area year after year. It is difficult keeping in touch with friends and family in Holland. There are generations of Cheesemakers in Van Dorp's family in Holland, but none in current generations. His wife also comes from generations of cheese-makers.
“Blyth Gouda is healthy, has an excellent flavour, award-winning product. … best Gouda in Ontario.”
One fabulous flavour is their Nettle cheese. Nettle is important from Europe as it doesn't grow here. Nettle is well-known to blister skin as it has toxic oils, but the flavour is distinct and the plant is very nutritious. The
Red Wine cheese has a deep red hue as it is soaked for five days in burgundy.
Served in many fine dining spots around Huron Blyth Farm Cheese is available at Queen’s Bakery in Blyth or direct from the store at the Farm. Check out the hours below.
Blyth Farm Cheese
82521 Allboro Line,N0M-1H0
Blyth, Ontario, Canada
Tuesday: 9AM until 4 PM
Wednesday: 9AM until 4 PM
Friday: 9AM until 4PM
Saturday: 9AM until 4PM