Blue Sky Cheese, Mendooran wins Silver in Dairy Industry Awards

Pip Archer and Deb Kiem.

Pip Archer and Deb Kiem.

Their business has not even celebrated its first birthday, but Mendooran cheese makers Pip Archer and Deb Kiem are making waves in the dairy industry.

Since launching in December 2018, their business Blue Sky Cheese - Handmade in Mendooran, has grown in strength.

Just recently they were awarded a Silver in the 2019 Dairy Industry Awards for their Peppertree Feta.

Despite only having a day's notice to enter, Ms Kiem said they were thrilled to not only have the opportunity to bench-mark their cheese, but to have a great result.

"We were a bit cheeky. We thought 'we've only just started really'. But we wanted to benchmark ourselves against some of the other producers who have been doing it a hell of a lot longer than we have," she said.

The Peppertree Feta has a creamy consistency that isn't too salty or tart.

"It's a recipe that we've fine-tuned and we're really happy with it. It seems to appeal to a wide range of people," Ms Kiem said.

Ms Archer agreed saying it was a very versatile, mild cheese that can also be used for cooking.

Although still new to the industry, Ms Kiem said they were "chuffed" to have their product receive a great result by industry expert judges.

Photo: Supplied.

Photo: Supplied.

"It's been like a runaway train," she laughed when describing their journey.

The two friends met through working at their local Show and found a connection through cheese.

Now they are gearing up to enter their products into the Sydney Royal Easter Show in 2020.

"We have a fairly strong allegiance to the Show Society and we really want to support agriculture Australia," Ms Kiem said.

Everything is hand made by Ms Kiem and Ms Archer and the only machinery they use is a refrigerator.

"We could spend $12,000 on a pasteuriser but we're happy to have our hands in the curd," she said.

Locally the cheese is enjoyed by clients all over the region, as the pair have been attending markets since they started.

They have also been invited to attend and be guest speakers at various events including at Mudgee, Tooraweenah and Gulargambone.

Tour groups have also visited them at Mendooran to view the cheese factory.

"It's becoming very apparent that people want to connect with us, not just for the cheese but because we seem to be motivating and inspiring people with our story that you can do what you choose to do with a lot of passion and limited resources," Ms Kiem said.

"And have a bit of a go. People are really trying to hang on to that."