The new $2 million Ashgrove cheese dairy door and visitor centre at Elizabeth Town is officially open giving the public an insight into how the products go from paddock to plate.
The new facility offers sit-down dining, curated tastings and tours as an attraction on the Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail.
Ashgrove CEO Richard Bennett said the new dairy door facility added to years of investment into jobs and equipment by the 100 per cent Tasmanian paddock to plate cheese and milk brand.
"From what started as a small family business in 1993, we are proud to now employ over 100 Tasmanians across our farms and factory, with this number growing along with our business," Mr Bennett said.
From what started as a small family business in 1993, we are proud to now employ over 100 Tasmanians across our farms and factory,- Ashgrove CEO Richard Bennett
"Over the past 27 odd years we've loved welcoming visitors to the factory, and we're delighted to now be able to show them exactly how Ashgrove cheese is made, and why it's some of the best in the world with our new immersive interpretive experiences.
"We're also delighted to add to what makes our part of the world so special to visit with a new attraction, helping position tourism in the Meander Valley and the Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail to bounce back following the impacts of COVID."
The attraction on the Bass Highway has been closed since October to allow for the previous centre to be demolished entirely.
The redevelopment includes a larger cafe area, a larger area for icecream, large windows into the factory area, to immerse the visitor in the cheese-making process, and larger outdoor dining areas.
The build, which had been in the works for about five years, was scheduled for over the summer as the uncertainty of the pandemic and border closures had resulted in less tourists.
The federal government supported the upgrades with a $620,000 regional development grant matching Ashgrove's investment.
Federal Braddon MP Gavin Pearce said the new dairy door would bring more visitors to the North-West and boost the Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail.
"Ashgrove Cheese is an iconic stop on the tasting trail, and the new visitor experience will not only attract more visitors from far and wide, but it'll support 14 new full-time jobs for locals," he said.
Despite being closed to the public the build did not have an impact on dairy operations or the cheese factory.
Ashgrove has tasted success this year sweeping the pool at the Sydney Royal Food awards. Its herb and garlic butter, full cream milk, farm gold milk, and signature cheese varieties Eddington Farm Vintage Cheddar and Lancashire all claimed gold medals at the awards.
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