Artisan cheesemakers since 2007, Over The Moon Dairy Co. is based in Putaruru in the Waikato. Marketing manager Stephanie Shailer talked with the team about the company’s ever-expanding range, being dedicated to pushing the barriers and experimenting with new styles and flavours.
What is your company background, how did you start the business?
“In 2007 Sue Arthur set up Over The Moon Dairy Company. She launched her boutique fledgling cheese factory in Putaruru, the small town nestled in the heart of the perfect dairying conditions of the South Waikato. Sue had fostered a love of cheese and dairy products after spending 20 years in the region. Sue’s enthusiasm had seen her traverse both nation and globe tasting and experiencing a world of cheese.
Sue’s dream was to inspire cheese lovers in New Zealand producing specialty cheeses, the likes of which were only available in international markets. From the beginning, she carefully set up a network of relationships with suppliers who were carefully nurturing their herds, cow, goat, sheep and buffalo milk sourced at origin to create the highest quality cheeses paying homage to the great traditions of international cheesemakers.
The focus is on the finest ingredients, using the gentlest of pasteurisation methods.”
What are the current product range and variants and how do these products stand out in the market?
“Our current range is extensive, and that in itself sets us apart as well as our commitment to the South Waikato and the unusual milk blends we use to create different cheese styles. Our Southern Cross released only once annually is a four milk blend. Our Burgundy Moon is a wonderful creation merging washed rind style with post wine production (Mills Reef) Merlot grape skins and seeds.”
Has there been any recent company news?
“Continually sourcing locally, making in small batches and using time honoured recipes and non-animal rennet has seen the Over The Moon range grow from the smallest of beginnings to an ever expanding range of over 30 cheeses.”
What are the plans for the business moving forward, is there any expansion on the horizon?
“We will continue to innovate, and we recently opened our second deli in Cambridge selling our cheeses and other locally sourced cheese related goodies for food lovers. We are an artisan producer and therefore see ourselves well placed to continue working within the high-end restaurant and lodges as well as delis around New Zealand.”
Where are your products currently available to buy, and are you looking at or wanting to expand your availability? If so, where would you like to see the product situated?
“Well known for soft white mould cheeses with full flavour and with a distinctive French style, cheeses like Black Truffle Brie, Galactic Gold Washed rind and Aroha Camembert can be found on cheeseboards in high-end restaurants and discerning delicatessens throughout the country.
The founding principles and great care taken by the passionate cheesemakers at Over The Moon have seen a slew of both international and local accolades including 75 medals and 13 trophies. Sue and the team are dedicated to pushing the barriers and experimenting with new styles and flavours. Southern Cross is one such cheese which is a heavenly creation blending cow, buffalo, sheep and goat and released only annually in November.
Pride in the region of the South Waikato, and staying true to founding principles ensures Sue and the team will continue to delight and inspire a new generation of cheese lovers.”