Pearl Valley celebrating 90 years with customer appreciation event

| June 5, 2018

FRESNO – Pearl Valley Cheese will celebrate its 90th anniversary with customer appreciation days from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday and Saturday, June 8-9.

“We truly are blessed,” said Sally Ellis. “God has blessed us with great employees and customers on the retail and wholesale side.”

The customer appreciation day will include ice cream, factory tours, kettle corn, trail bologna and cheese sandwiches and an inflatable for the kids. Families also are encouraged to take pictures by the new cow bench named Holly Holstein and share them on social media with Pearl Valley Cheese.

“We wanted to do this to give back to everyone who has supported us over the years,” Ellis said.

Pearl Valley Cheese was started in 1928 by Ellis’ grandparents Ernest and Gertrude Stalder. It was then operated by her parents John and Grace Stalder and now Ellis and her husband Chuck are the third generation owners. The fourth generation of the family is now represented by Kurt Ellis – quality assurance and sales; David Burch – production manager and head cheesemaker; Thomas Ellis – cheesemaker; and Daniel Burch – maintenance technician.

They make 14 different kinds of cheese. In 2017 they won the Ohio Grand Champion Swiss Cheesemaker award and were a Gold Medalist for Smoked Swiss, and Silver Medalist for Mild Swiss at the U.S. Cheese Contest in Madison, Wis.

“We have established a high bar for the quality of our cheese, and our production staff works diligently every day to make the same award-winning cheese every day we fill the vats with milk,” Chuck said. “Credit for the company’s success must also be given to the dairy producers who supply us with the quality of milk we need to make this type of cheese.  Whether it’s Colby, Pepper Jack, Lacey Swiss, or our well-known mild Swiss, quality milk is at the core of making good cheese.”

Two new cheese varieties have come out of development and are now available to both wholesale and retail customers. Although Jumping –Jack cheese has been on the product list for many years, the production staff “turned up the heat” by adding ghost peppers to the jalapenos and habanero blend that was in the product. The end result is a cheese that is twice as hot as previously. Gouda deli-horns are now being offered in the “easy to slice” deli-horn size as well. Gouda has increased in popularity over the last several years due to it being a flavorful addition to sandwiches and for snacking.

Increased sales volumes enabled the company to add on loading docks, curing rooms, and a large shipping cooler to handle the increased pounds going through the plant every day in 2017.  Additional office space and a room for future packaging was also a part of the addition.

The company currently employs around 45 full and part time employees.

“God has been very, very kind to us and we will be here as long as he wants us to be,” Sally said.

For more on Pearl Valley Cheese, visit or call 740-545-6002.

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