THE Pyengana Dairy Company will celebrate 21 years of cheese-making today with live music courtesy of Hobart swing band Les Coqs Incroyables.
Owners Jon and Lyndall Healey said that the company's free 21st birthday bash would run from about noon to 5pm and was their way of thanking business colleagues and the community for its support over the years.
Mr Healey reintroduced cheese making in 1992, after his father John move away from it.
``He knew how hard it was - he's not lazy by any means, he's just smart,'' the fourth-generation Pyengana farmer said.
``The idea was to make cheese, seasonally, and take a break each year when the cows were dry, but it didn't quite work out that way.
``We started out the cheese factory milking 130 cows on about 45 hectares, but when we started bottling the milk, we needed milk all year round and had to run another herd and now we milk about 220 cows all year round.
``We started bottling milk in about 1995 and were granted the first vendor's licence since deregulation, in about 1972 - ours was the only farm-fresh milk available throughout Tassie when we started.
``Our milk is pasteurised, but is still not homogenised, that's why the cream floats to the top, like people remember from the `old days'.
``We started making our own ice-cream in 2000 and opened the Holy Cow Cafe in 2002.''
Mr Healey said that the move to all-year-round production came when he started employing people.
``Our first batch of cheese was 40 kilograms, on February 14, 1992. We made 3 tonnes that year - we make about 40 tonnes a year nowadays.''
The Pyengana Dairy Company is now one of Break O' Day's biggest employers, with about 20 people working 40 hours a week.
WHAT: Celebration of 21 years of cheese making.
WHEN: Today, noon-5pm.
WHERE: Holy Cow Cafe, St Columba Falls Road, Pyengana.