Cabot Cheese Creamery is one of America’s leading producers of cheddar cheeses and other dairy products. The company is a subsidiary of Agri-Mark, a private cooperative composed of more than 1,000 dairy farmers.
The history of Cabot cheese dates back to 1919, when dairy farmers in Cabot decided to create a cooperative and produce commercial butter for distribution to markets in New England. Ninety four farmers joined the cooperative and together they bought the village’s creamery in order to start producing butter. Back then, all the butter that the cooperative produced was sold under the Rosedale brand.
In the next twenty years, the co-operative continued to run the creamery, shipping their butter and milk products to the South. Despite the economy shifting to agriculture at the time, Vermont’s economy was still largely dependent on dairy farms. In 1930, the members of the cooperative hired their first cheese maker, marking the beginning of the co-operative’s cheese making history.
By 1960, the co-operative’s members were already up to 600 dairy farm families. However, during this period, the industry of dairy farming was already experiencing a rapid decline. The decline continued in the 1980s until the number of dairy farmers in Vermont was less than 2,000. During the same period, the co-operative was marketing its butter and cheeses under the Cabot brand.
In 1989, Cabot’s Cheddar Cheese won first prize in the championship round of the United States Cheese Contest which was held in Wisconsin. In the succeeding years, Cabot’s co-operative continued to gather awards for its exceptional cheeses.
In 1992, Cabot’s dairy farmers co-operative went into a merger with New England Co-operative Agri-Mark. With the two co-operatives combined, the merger now had over 1,500 farms and a large product line with four manufacturing plants. Two years after the merger, Agri-Mark and Cabot co-operatives attained a total sales of $30 million. In 2008, their combined total sales became $350 million.
In 2000, Agri-Mark built a state-of-the-art whey protein manufacturing plant in Vermont which cost $20 million. The processing plant became the first of its kind in the country.
Currently, Cabot Cheese is still worldly popular and is still considered one of the world’s best cheeses. The company’s farms are still fully-owned by the farmer-owners of Agri-Mark.
Headquarters: Vermont, USA
Ownership Type: Private (Co-operative)
No. of Employees: 900
Demography: commercial butter and cheese consumers
Seriously Sharp Cheddar
When Sharp goes awry, when Extra Sharp earns a pucker, Seriously Sharp is born. It never tastes the same from one batch to the next. It’s a cult thing…the cheese we used to sell to hunters and truckers…on their way out of town.