SJ Pienaar, Owner/Operator 


We are located in Orange, NSW, and started making cheese in April 2013. Our milk comes from a farm local to the area.

How did you get started in the industry?

I started to be interested in making cheese 8 years ago after a course at the TAFE in Adelaide.  My father and his family also had a small dairy and made fresh curd cheeses for their own consumption.

Tell us a bit about your cheeses

We make quark, a fresh curd cows cheese as versatile as yoghurt (not many producers make this short life cheese), a soft fetta and a marinated fetta, a camembert-style (trying to be as traditional as possible), a haloumi-style (less salty and firm but with a milky flavour than others), a soft washed rind called Frieda Roobie Blue (slighty more towards a mountain cheese than traditional blue).

What is your favourite part about being a cheese maker? 

Collecting the milk from a farm - it means connecting to the animals and people involved in making the raw product.  In the factory I still enjoy the moment when I cut the curd - it seems magic that a humble product like milk can give us such diversity.

What are the biggest challenges you face in your role?

Being a small operator we, my wife and I, need to be everything - maker, seller, marketing, bookkeeping ...

What opportunities do you see for the future of the Australian specialty/artisan cheese industry?

A grand future, as being a young industry we can achieve what the wine industry in Australia did over a long period of time.  A concern is the dairy industry moving even more into bigger operations not owned by local farmers any more.

What does being part of ASCA mean to you?

Being part of a network of real small producers trying to support and promote the craft of artisanal cheese making.