Our cheese making facility, located in Lena, Illinois, was built by William Thill in 1973 and was originally called Excelsior Cheese Factory. Duane and Cheryl Torkelson bought the property from Mr. Thill back in 1985 and started Torkelson Cheese Co. To continue the growth of the company, Duane and Cheryl partnered with Jamie and Lindsey White in 2008.
Over the years, the Torkelsons and Whites have made many changes to the factories. A successful growth pattern has included increased storage capacities, modernizing the packaging process, enhancing our cheese making, and most recently, the completion of a new lactose production facility.
Since 1986, Torkelson Cheese has earned twelve World Champion Cheese Awards, winning gold for their Muenster, Brick and Quesadilla cheese. In addition, Asadero and Apple Jack are other popular cheeses manufactured at Torkelson Cheese Co. Lindsey explains, “One of the secrets to our success is that we procure only the highest quality milk from local farmers.”
For Torkelson Cheese, quality of our cheeses take first priority. Torkelson Cheese Co. uses all 100 percent natural ingredients – no added chemicals and no preservatives. “Quality really is our biggest concern,” Lindsey said. “I have two small children at home and we eat our cheese on a daily basis. I would never put something onto the market that I would not feed my own family.”
“We know we are doing the absolute best that we can for our consumer,” Lindsey explained, “I really understand that people work hard to earn their money. When they choose to spend it on a dairy product that came from our plant, I am elated. People that trust Torkelson Cheese Co. at their dinner table deserve the best possible quality that we can provide.”