Our Story - A Legacy of Cheese

We are located in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland town of Kenilworth, 1.5 hours north of Brisbane, Queensland, 60 klms west of Noosa.

Established in 1950 as one of the many rural cheese factories owned by the Kraft Corporation, the Kenilworth Kraft factory manufactured bulk cheese, which was then transported to Krafts central factory in Victoria.

Following a move to centralization in the late 1980s Kraft decided to close the Kenilworth factory putting a large number of workers out of a job. The factory had played a major part in the community providing employment opportunities for locals as well as apprenticeships to the youth in the area.

Following the closure two of the employees, Colin Cunningham and Clem Hassall came up with the idea that perhaps some of the workers could buy the factory.

The rest as they say is history, along with a local businessman Kevin Paterson the Kraft Kenilworth cheese factory became Kenilworth Country Foods Pty Ltd and reopened for business on the 7th September 1990.

Despite the view from some within the area and also from out side that the cheese factory would have a limited life, the six workers began by changing the factory from a bulk operation into a boutique handcrafted gourmet cheese factory.

The six workers had various skills and applied these to the new business. Cheese making skills that involved making cheese by hand were applied and knowledge gained from some of the best cheese makers in the area were passed onto the team at Kenilworth.

One such person was Peter Poppa Hansen. Hansen had gained a reputation as a master cheese maker from the Queensland town of Malling. It was here in the early 1920s that Hansen had struggled over the years to develop a cheese that would suit Australian conditions. After numerous experiments and disasters he finally made a cheese that exceeded his wildest dreams. Roma Malling and Malling Red were created and became the cornerstone of his cheese making business.

Peter Hansens skills as a cheese maker were passed on to the people he employed and through that process these skills and recipes finally arriving at the new Kenilworth Cheese factory.

Today Kenilworth Country Foods Pty Ltd continues to manufacture the Malling Red and Roma Malling cheeses to the original 1920 recipe created by Peter Poppa Hansen. Today they form the cornerstone to the Kenilworth gourmet range. In the recent past our award winning cheese makers have adapted to the ever changing tastes of society. A number of our famous varieties are Garlic & Cracked Pepper, Sweet Chilli & Coriander, Queensland Swiss, Premium Vintage, Australian Fetta just to name a few. Over the past 15 years the company has created a wide variety of cheddar cheeses, which have won numerous awards throughout the country at agriculture and industry shows.

The complete selection of the companys products is available for tasting and purchase at the company store on site in Kenilworth. All Kenilworth cheese is handcrafted on site using the highest quality of milk from the farms surrounding the factory. The traditional methods of cheese making are employed with the cheese turned by hand during the manufacturing process. This gives the Kenilworth product the taste of difference.

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