From Holland to America to your plate… old-world award-winning cheeses!
Marieke Penterman was born and raised in the Netherlands where she grew up on her parents’ 60 cow dairy farm. This is where her passion for dairy cows and dairy farming began. After getting her Bachelor’s Degree in Dairy Business, Marieke started a career as a farm inspector.
While Marieke worked as a farm inspector in the Netherlands, her future husband, Rolf Penterman, emigrated to Thorp, WI, and started a 350 cow dairy farm in May 2002. Thorp, with a vast dairy base and farm-friendly people, was an ideal location. Marieke followed Rolf a year later. Though, once in the United States, she missed the cheese from back home and began researching how to start her own cheese business in the United States. Marieke decided to get her Wisconsin Cheesemaking License and worked extensively with a local cheesemaker to hone her skills. She then traveled back to her home country where she trained alongside two different cheesemakers and learned the art of making authentic Dutch Gouda cheese.
AWARD WINNING CHEESE: 166 AWARDS AND COUNTING!
Just four months after Marieke crafted her first batch of Gouda in November of 2006, she captured a gold award at the 2007 US Champion Cheese Contest. Dozens of awards followed including her biggest win thus far the United States Grand Champion in 2013. In January of 2015, Marieke won the Wisconsin Outstanding Young Farmer Award making her the first female to ever win this award!
MARIEKE® GOUDA TODAY: FEMALE OWNED & FEMALE CHEESEMAKERS
In November 2013, Marieke Penterman and Rolf Penterman opened a brand new state-of-the-art facility along in Thorp, WI. It includes a store and viewing windows to see the farm and cheesemaking up close.
The business is female-owned and operated. There are over 1,200 licensed cheesemakers in Wisconsin and only 60 of them are women. Marieke Penterman is not only the owner of Marieke® Gouda, but she is also one of their three licensed cheesemakers. The other two licensed cheesemakers in the Marieke® Gouda creamery are also women. By employing so many women, Marieke creates an incredibly empowering atmosphere where women feel comfortable coming forward with ideas. Running her business in this inclusive way has helped put Marieke on the map for her cheese-making. But don’t worry, they certainly don’t discriminate against men!
TRUE FARMSTEAD CHEESE
Right away in the morning, fresh raw milk from the local Penterman Farm is pumped directly into the milk vat. Their creamery is right across from their farm to ensure quality. After the vat is full of rich milk, they add their signature cultures and ingredients to create authentic Gouda using Old World techniques. Once they process the cheese curd, they press them into wheel molds. From there, they brine them for 60 hours. They then make their way to the aging room, where they are aged for at least 60 days on Dutch Pine planks.
Their entire team works tirelessly to make sure they handcraft with passion at each step! Taste and experience the difference for yourself.
Learn more about who is behind the fabulous cheese at Marieke Gouda.