Homegrown Hero: Harvey Cheese

Case Study: Harvey Cheese

Location: Wokalup

A match made in heaven sees the delicious taste of Western Australia’s dairy industry combined with innovative gin production–and it can be found right here in Wokalup.

Harvey Cheese is a well-known name among cheese-lovers and food enthusiasts in Western Australia. This boutique cheese producer has been creating handmade cheeses for over two decades, and now has over 45 varieties. From the freshest milk to the most innovative ideas, Harvey Cheese has mastered the art of creating the perfect blend of taste and quality.

The company was originally founded by Robert and Penny St Duke, who purchased a derelict building that had been vacant for 11 years. The couple worked tirelessly to turn their dream into a reality, opening the cheese factory in 2002 before eventually selling in 2023.

Three generations of the Lottering family have taken the reins of the business, with exciting plans for the future, whilst still maintaining the quality of the product. Hailing from South Africa, the family were searching for a well-established business that they could transform with their collective, generational expertise. From farming heritage, they aspired for a business that would allow them to foster close connection to land and community.

Harvey Cheese and St Duke’s Distillery provided the unique opportunity. The new owners are eager to continue the traditions of artisanal production and community building, while also carving out a unique lifestyle for their family.

Waste Not, Want Not

Harvey Cheese’s commitment to quality and sustainability is evident in every aspect of their operation. The company uses low-salt and locally sourced milk from award-winning dairy farmer Dale Hanks, ensuring that every product is made with the best ingredients available.

The cheese-making process is a testament to their dedication to quality, resulting in some of the most delicious cheeses in the state.

Our consistently outstanding products are a testament to our commitment to innovation, sustainability and quality.
Pieter Lottering, Co-owner, Harvey Cheese

Whey Ahead of the Rest

One of the unique features of Harvey Cheese is its distinctive packaging and branding. The company has developed quirky names for its products, such as ‘OMG’ (Oh, my Goodness) triple cream Camembert, ‘Ash Blonde’ and ‘Ring Stinger’, making them easily recognisable to consumers.

But the innovation doesn’t stop there. The award-winning factory is using the whey, a by-product from the cheese-making, to create a range of spirits including vodka and gin, through the recently established St Duke’s Distillery, located on the same premises.

This technology is new to Western Australia and could lead to exciting new opportunities within the spirits industry. By diversifying their product offerings, Harvey Cheese is demonstrating a commitment to innovation and sustainable business practices.

Community Comes First

In addition to their commitment to quality and sustainability, Harvey Cheese is dedicated to helping local farmers who are doing it tough, and determined to keep young people in the regions.

This demonstrates the St Duke’s commitment to giving back to the community that supported them from the very beginning and it is an ethos that the new owners of Harvey Cheese will preserve.

Quality Over Quantity

Unlike some other brands, Harvey Cheese has made a deliberate choice not to export or supply to major supermarkets other than IGA, opting instead to prioritise quality over quantity.

This approach has helped build the company’s reputation as a boutique producer of premium cheese, and has allowed them to maintain control over their production processes and ensure consistency in their products. Harvey Cheese’s commitment to quality, sustainability, and community has earned them numerous accolades over the years, including the 2022 South West Tourism and Hospitality Small Business of the Year.

In addition, two of its ‘Horny Cow’ branded beverages were selected in the top 10 of the 2023 WA Good Food Guide Best Spirit Awards.

With its unique blend of delicious cheeses and innovative spirits, Harvey Cheese is poised for even greater success in the future. As the company continues to expand its product offerings and invest in new technologies and sustainable practices, it is sure to remain a leading force in the Western Australian food and beverage industry for years to come.

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Harvey Cheese operates cheese and gin tasting rooms and giftshop, open 7 days a week in Wokalup.

T: +61 8 9729 3949

E: info@harveycheese.com.au

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