2012 - Volume #36, Issue #3, Page #08[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
"World's First" Mobile Cheese-Making FactorySmall-scale cheese makers are often frustrated because of the hassle and large investment needed to set up a full-size licensed kitchen. Cheese makers in the United Kingdom face the same issues. The Little Cheesery in the U.K. offers a solution with everything needed to make cheese in a compact, efficient box van. The 12 by 5 1/2-ft. trailer has a separate washroom/change area, cheese vat, cheese press, peg mill, industrial sink, draining table, storage cupboards, extraction and air conditioning along with inlet and outlet pipes.
“Not only is the size of our unit unique, we have made sure that everything within the facility is to the same standard as that of a large scale factory,” says Pete Murray, director of MCE Engineering of Derby, who designed and manufactured the unit. “In the past we helped produce larger scale versions with 20 and 40-ft. static containers. These are an excellent way of providing a ready-built factory, however we believed a more compact, mobile unit would create opportunities for a wider audience.”
Entrepreneurs in the U.K. receive government assistance for diversifying. They can receive reimbursement for 40 to 70 percent of the $55,000 to $64,000 cost of the van.
“I am looking to come over to the States around March to explore the opportunities there,” Murray says. “We have already shipped some cheese making equipment to Vermont Farmstead Cheese Makers, who are impressed with our build quality. They are interested in working with us in the future in regards of exporting U.K. cheese making equipment to a wider audience in the States.”
The Little Cheesery processing equipment is made of stainless steel. Milk is piped through the side of the box van into a 66-gal., temperature-controlled cheese vat where it’s heated to start the process.
“While The Little Cheesery can be hooked up easily to a static water and power supply, its real beauty is that it can be taken on the road with only a diesel heater and a 240-volt generator, complete with water storage, which can all be supplied with the trailer,” Murray says. “It can then be parked in the middle of the remotest field and still be used effectively.”
He adds that the mobile unit can be used for many purposes, including training at universities, creating new cheese recipes, or shared by members of cooperatives as well as for private business. In full production, the unit can produce 77 lbs. of cheese a day. It can also be used to make other dairy products such as ice cream and yogurt.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, MCE Engineering Limited, Unit 6, Empire Business Park, Parcel Terrace, Derby DE1 1LY UK (ph 011 44 1332 366228; www.thelittlecheesery.com or www.mcelimited.co.uk).
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