Nordic Food Artisan

Goes to a food artisan, who have developed a unique product which represent a high gastronomic quality and is rooted in Nordic raw ingredients and artisan traditions.

Finland – Herkkujuustola

An Appenzell native I grew up in a typical Swiss cheesemaker family. After graduating as a cheesemaker, myself, wanderlust grabbed me.

In 1996 I was offered a job in Finland. The position was as a long-distance truck driver. Operating between Finland and Central Asia.

In the year 2000 I acquired a 200-year-old former tenant farm in the deep Finnish forest. No electricity nor running water. Nowadays, the owners of the farm from the year 1900 are the namesake of our cheeses and therefore the main characters.

In 2002 I founded my own “Herkkujuustola” (gourmet-dairy). The main reason for founding my own dairy was, that I was not happy with the selection of cheeses available.

I updated cheese-recipes and manufacturing processes from my youth and adapted them so that they’d be compatible with the Finnish breeds of cows, the climate, and the consumers.

At the 2012 cheese-competition in Finland, our washed-rind soft cheese won with the maximum of 100 points. 2016 I was elected Finnish cheesemaker of the year. It was the first time ever in Finnish history that a private commercial entrepreneur was awarded with this price. In the same year our herb filled WilliWili won the gold medal at the artisan competition organized by the Nordic council of ministers. Cheese is my passion.

In the end of 2017, we started building our own, new “cheese village”.