Every week Debbie Allard turns around 1,200 litres of farm fresh milk into her array of cheeses, kefir, yoghurt, butter and buttermilk. She knows the quality of the milk too, because it’s her own.
Debbie and husband Jim rekindled the family dairy a few years ago, reviving the Allard family dairy which had operated for four generations from 1895 before going into hiatus. Now their days start early and finish late, as they milk and care for their herd of cows. Much of the milk goes to the renowned Norco cooperative, but Debbie keeps enough of it to supply her cheese room, conveniently located right at the dairy.
After many years running a cheese factory, and then teaching home cheese-making, the love of cheese runs deep for Debbie. She spent time traveling through the UK, France and Italy to hone her knowledge and skills. And that knowledge is put to good effect, with her cheeses recognised in the Royal Queensland Cheese and Dairy Competition and as a State Winner in the Delicious Produce Awards
Jerseys are the cow of choice for Jim and Debbie, and that was a careful choice. Jerseys produce milk that has both high fat and high protein which gives it depth and body. Even so, as Debbie says, every batch of cheese is different! That’s a phrase she often repeats, reminding customers that milk, and the cheese it produces, will fluctuate in flavour throughout the year. That makes her small batch and additive free cheeses even more unique – and delicious.