THE team at the ABC Cheese Factory was treated to a celebratory seafood lunch at The Dromedary Hotel, Central Tilba on Thursday after their big wins at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.
Cheese factory owners Erica and Nic Dibden decided to treat the workers who work so hard with pride to manufacture their products.
Three of their products scored medals at this year’s Royal Show: a gold medal for their Persian Fetta, a silver for their full cream Real Tilba Milk and another silver for their Three Udders Brie.
In the past, they have entered some of their blended cheeses that have performed reasonably well, including the Firecracker, a tried and trusted favourite, which won Silver last year.
While the workers do their bit behind the glass window of the cheese factory, it’s been a busy time for the Dibdens too who not only run their Jersey cow dairy herd at Tilba Tilba but are also constantly on the road delivering milk and cheese.
Each weekend they travel up to a farmer’s market in Canberra to sell their product.
Regarding the first place fetta, Erica said they were were looking for a cheese that was smooth and delightful.
“We did market researched and tested many products – it’s a tough job but someone has to do it!” she said.
“We loved the flavour of Persian fetta and felt that we could make it in our factory here. So we went to work working on a recipe and Voila South Coast Cheese Persian Fetta was born.”
They and all their milk fans were at a loss as to how Real Tilba Milk did not win gold.
“I must admit that I was surprised that the milk did not do better, it is a bit like having your child in a baby competition, you can’t believe that little Johnny did not take out the most coveted prize, she said.
“We have shown enough cattle over the years to understand that it comes down to the preference of a particular judge on a particular day. There is room for improvement next year!”
She credited the medals and success of the brand to many elements, including “the microbes in the soil, the cows, the work Nic and I put in to get things up off the ground, our shop staff, our office manager, our dairy staff, our factory staff, particularly cheese maker Troy, milk suppliers the O’Meara’s of Cobargo, however keeping all that in mind but there is no room in our business for single accolades it is very much a team effort one big family.”
Mick and Maz Youlten at The Drom put on a real spread for the workers including blue swimmer crabs, prawns, oysters and baked fish.