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Image (supplied) - Apostle Whey Cheese owner Julian Benson.

Cheese Therapy Gives Hope

Cheese Therapy Gives Hope

Image (supplied) - Apostle Whey Cheese owner Julian Benson.

Business helps artisan cheesemakers reach interstate markets

The Benson family built their artisan cheese business around a premium farm-shop experience and have been forced to roll with the punches like never before.

Thankfully for Apostle Whey Cheese, they've tapped into new interstate markets, forging ahead with expansion plans and job creation.

“I don’t know what it says that we’re prepared to expand in this environment, but you just have to try and be positive and know that it will turn around,” owner Julian Benson said.

While the Cooriemungle farm shop remains open on weekdays, foot traffic is a fraction of what the Benson’s have come to expect from tourists along the Great Ocean Road, while many retailers who stock their goods face a similar situation.

“I was watching one of my favorite shows on the ABC, Landline, and this story came on about Cheese Therapy, a business focused on helping artisan cheesemakers impacted by the virtual shutdown of much of the food industry,” he said.

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“Cheese Therapy took a lot of their product, put four cheeses into ‘therapy boxes’ and distributed it around Australia, they are doing a lot of advertising"

“We got in touch and now, starting this month, we’ve got product going through a distribution centre in Geelong and it’s going direct to people’s doors all over Australia
which is something we haven’t been able to effectively do ourselves before"

"People who have come here from interstate and had the experience, now have an opportunity to get our cheeses and that’s just fantastic for us.”

Mr Benson said the new market was substantial, with hundreds of boxes containing fourApostle Whey Cheeses already distributed across the country.

The Bensons had just embarked on construction of a new milk bottling plant when COVID- 19 hit and despite the pandemic they are determined to complete the project.

“My view is we won’t have people coming from overseas much for a couple of years, but we also won’t have Australians leaving the country much, so we have our own domestic tourists who will be out exploring our beautiful part of the world,” he said.

“In between the two lockdowns the Queen’s Birthday weekend was like a jailbreak, we were about 30 per cent up from that week and it stayed there until the latest shutdown so that was a sign of what’s to come I think.

“You have to go through the bad times so you can appreciate the good ones, there was a bit of light there for a while and that will happen again.”

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