Who we are
Most of the time our team are seen through wide factory viewing windows wearing unflattering paper hats, clumpy white rubber boots and long plastic white aprons… and rubber gloves. It is not a look for a fashion catwalk! But who cares? What matters is the application of skills and concentration on processing the beautiful, rich milk from our dairy herd into products that are delicious, and sort after, and ones that make us so proud.
Recognition of the excellence the team achieves is evident in a wall of awards.
The team leader is Lucas Klekowski, young, highly skilled, and ambitious. The words; “can’t do”, or “won’t try that” … are unlikely to come from his lips. With Lucas at the helm, Bodalla Dairy is a creative force with an exciting future. Trained in Poland, he is an asset to Australia and Bodalla is lucky to have his imput.
Essential to the operation are the three, sometimes four, locals who work part-time on “make days” when milk, cheese products, buckets, crates, and more crates, have to be moved from here to there, and then from there to there.
Bodalla Dairy’s perishable products and maturing products are constantly on the move.
And that’s the way we like it!
Bodalla’s history with cheese making goes back to the 1860’s when Thomas Sutcliffe Mort introduced dairy cows to this land of waterways and rich river flats. He realized the grasses and the rainfall were perfectly suited to dairying.
In these early pioneering days, the potential for high quality dairy products was quickly recognized and five factories were built to process the beautiful milk, and make cheese.
Bodalla cheese was Australia’s first commercial cheese, and the first cheese to be exported. Bodalla cheese is a household name, and to this day, say Bodalla, and people say “cheese”.
At Bodalla Dairy’s Factory which on the Princes Highway, in the centre of this historic village, we continue the tradition by gently pasteurizing our herd’s beautiful milk in the old fashioned batch pasteurizing way. It is not pushed through hot pipes and we only take it to the lowest allowable pastuerising temperature of 63 deg to protect its’ original integrity.
Of course, the quality of the final cheese product depends greatly on the quality of the unhomogenized milk you start with. Our cheese products get the best start possible and the end result ( we hope you agree) reflects the care and passion of our dedicated team.
We hope you ENJOY every sip, every nibble, and the lasting taste of premium product.
History of Bodalla
Say Bodalla, and people say “cheese”. This area has been famous for excellent dairy products since the 1860’s and can boast the manufacture of Australia’s first commercial cheese and the first cheese to be exported from Australia.
At one time there were five cheese factories processing the marvelous quality milk from the many dairy herds grazing rich pastures along the Tuross River. Now there is just one – the Bodalla Dairy Cheese Factory- and it is our mantra to keep alive artisan cheese making skills so the traditional industry of the area continues.
Bodalla is a charming, historic working village which supports a farming community. There are many aspects that remain as they have always been. The streetscape is dotted with original buildings which tell the tales of yesteryear and that’s how the locals like it.
If you have a chance to visit Bodalla, do. It is on Australia’s Highway No. 1, the Princes Highway, and the Bodalla Dairy Cheese Factory and the Bodalla Dairy Shed retro-milkbar /café is a perfect stop. Things you can do at this multi-award winning complex;
- Look through the Bodalla Dairy’s factory window to see milk pastuerisation, milk
bottling in action, cheese making and learn about the dairy industry from videos and old equipment in the factory’s museum.
- You can taste and buy our cheeses in the Dairy Shed café,
- enjoy the best milkshakes on the South Coast at our Dairy Shed cafe, eat fabulous hamburgers and enjoy treats on the cheese inspired menu
- bottle feed calves and pat farm animals,
- relax on the outdoor deck, soothed by the tranquil surrounding farmland
- And if you really want to slow down, drop the heart rate, book into one of the Dairy Shed’s stylishly appointed guest rooms and wake to the sounds of native birds.
Next morning you can wander the village and meet the artisans who proudly explain their crafts.
The story behind the Factory front.
Bodalla Dairy Cheese Factory and the Bodalla Dairy Shed café is a family owned business run by family members and wonderful staff who realize the importance of detail. Huge efforts are put into assuring quality and professional presentation of product, whether it is the texture and mouth feel of a maturing cheese, or an apparently tiny concern like ensuring our Shedshakes are thick and to the brim, always.
Our boast is that OUR MILK (we label it THE BETTER MILK) comes from ONE herd of Freisian and Jersey cows which graze the nearby paddocks of our farm.
The milk of the morning is pasteurised an old-fashioned way, in a vat, not in hot pipes. We heat the milk gently, bringing it only to the lowest allowable pasteurizing temperature of 63 degrees. This method means our production will always be boutique and the product premium and that is the way we like it. We do not homogenize and so the cream will rise to the top….as it used to!
By mid morning, the early milking is in the café, in the milkshakes, in the coffees.
By afternoon, Bodalla Dairy milk is in the local shops. There can be no fresher milk.