Coolamon's 'cheesiest' attraction opens its doors
Coolamon is set to become a ‘big cheese’ in tourism when the much-anticipated Coolamon Cheese opens its doors THIS SATURDAY 17th of September.
Housed in an historic 1920s co-op building in the main street of town, Coolamon Cheese was founded by leading Australian cheese maker, Barry Lillywhite, and international hospitality manager, Anton Green. Together the pair has transformed the old building into an architecturally stunning ‘world of cheese’ that houses a production area, cheese kitchen and deli, and courtyard that features the building’s original 1912 scotch oven.
The range will launch with 19 handcrafted artisan cheeses, all made using local Riverina milk. Visitors can expect to taste everything from vintage cheddars and oil-infused fettas, to blues, camemberts and brie. Barry’s talent for developing award-winning native flavoured cheeses will be a highlight of the range, with lemon myrtle, river mint, bush tomato and alpine pepper hard cheeses on the menu.
For Barry, seeing his lifetime passion turn into a Coolamon Cheesewas a huge milestone in his 30 year career.
“Seeing our vision for Coolamon Cheese come to life after many years of planning and hard work is extremely satisfying,” Barry said.
“Coolamon Cheese is more than somewhere to come and tempt your tastebuds. We want visitors to understand where their food comes from and the processes it goes through to get to their plates. As well as indulging in tastings and cheese inspired meals, visitors can view historic cheese making and dairy equipment, participate in cheese making workshops or take a tour of the facility where they can see cheese being made, maturing and the packaging process.”
“The Riverina is one of the most productive agricultural areas in Australia and we want to complement that with a rich and authentic food experience,” he said.
Mayor of Coolamon Shire, Cr John Seymour, knows all too well the value of the visitor economy.
“Coolamon has always been an agricultural area, but significant periods of drought in the 1990s and early to mid 2000s left many in the industry struggling,” Cr Seymour said.
“The flow on effects were tremendous and the local economy was under pressure. With the low Aussie dollar impacting the growth in the domestic tourism market, we knew that tourism could be a way to stimulate the local economy and showcase the unique assets and history of the region.”
Having worked over a number of years to re-invigorate the region through tourism, Cr Seymour is looking forward to Saturday's grand opening.
“We are thrilled to see Coolamon Cheese opening in the main street of Coolamon. It will complement some of the other attractions and experiences on offer and be a big drawcard for the region,” he said.
JOIN US for the Official Opening of Coolamon Cheese on Saturday 17th of September and be sure to SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE using #VisitCoolamonShire Regular tours will be held throughout the day. Following the weekends festivities, Coolamon Cheese will trade 7 days a week from 10am to 5pm (with the kitchen open 10am to 4pm daily).