Milton, IA – The Musser family has been making cheese in Southeast Iowa for over 14 years, winning numerous blue ribbons for their authentic cheddar-style cheeses all made with milk from small, local farms. The growing popularity of Prairie Breeze™ and a number of their other cheeses encouraged a 17,000 square foot facility expansion that started in 2019 and was completed earlier this year. Shortly after the team settled into their new offices, they could’ve never predicted the pandemic that would hit the cheese industry.
“Our business was hit by 50% in April and May, forcing us to quickly develop a new strategy to get our cheese to consumers,” said Rufus “Junior” Musser IV, co-CEO of Milton Creamery.
He shares that the company launched an e-commerce site at the end of March and has now joined forces with several other Iowa-based artisan companies to launch the first Iowa Victory Cheese Box. Renowned cured meat producer, La Quercia, was the first to sign on, as well as Frisian Farms with their gouda cheeses.
“We've known and respected the work of the Musser family and Milton Creamery since we first met shortly after we both started out. Through the years, we've both been able to have our food available across the country. And now, we're both finding that our restaurant customers have had to essentially stop ordering. It's heartbreaking to see what they are going through,” Herb Eckhouse, Owner of La Quercia stated.
Eckhouse continued, “Small companies like ours are adjusting by connecting directly to consumers via the internet, and now, we're doing it together. Milton Creamery and La Quercia want to keep people connected to the beauty and bounty of Iowa with this Victory Box.”
The Iowa Victory Cheese box retails for $75 and contains Milton Creamery’s Prairie Breeze™, Old Style Cheddar, 4 Alarm Cheddar, Cheese Curds; La Quercia Prosciutto Americano and ‘Nduja Prosciutto Spread; Frisian Farms Aged Gouda and includes shipping. Milton Creamery will donate 10% of all Victory Cheese profits to the Farms for City Kids Foundation, which provides a stimulating outdoor classroom where urban youth explore new dimensions of learning.
As Milton Creamery continues to weather the pandemic, their mission remains unwavering.
“It’s our goal to continue to support the community in rural Iowa by providing meaningful work and growth opportunities as well as only sourcing our milk from independently owned, small family farms today and forever,” said Rufus “Junior” Musser IV.
People can purchase the Iowa Victory Cheese Box on miltoncreamery.com.
ABOUT MILTON CREAMERY
Founded in 2006 in Milton, Iowa, Milton Creamery is a family owned business making award-winning artisan cheese based on simple, traditional practices and sourcing all milk from local, small farms within 30 miles of the facility. Their award-winning cheeses include Prairie Breeze™ and Flory’s Truckle. Their commitment to quality and safe food handling is proven as Milton Creamery meets the requirements for SQF Code for Food Manufacturing, Edition 8.1 and SQF Quality Code, Edition 8.1. www.miltoncreamery.com
ABOUT FARMS FOR CITY KIDS
Farms for City Kids Foundation has been working for more than 25 years to fulfill our mission to provide a truly farm based experiential learning experience to chronically underserved groups of school children. Along with the dairy and cheese program, other seasonal activities during their weeklong stays help each of our students learn and grow in some way while at the farm. They leave empowered with a stronger sense of accomplishment and their own special value. And, we are confident that going forward, they will look at a piece of cheese in a whole new way!