Big cheese time

Oamaru cheese-maker Whitestone Cheese has a busy weekend, opening a new distribution and chiller centre last night, sponsoring a golf tournament today and launching three new cheeses made from goats' milk tonight.

The new 300sq m dispatch centre with its two chillrooms will serve the South Island and reflects the growth in demand for the company's gourmet cheeses.

Whitestone has a second distribution centre near Rotorua for the North Island.

The new Oamaru building replaces a 100sq m distribution centre which the company had behind its cafe in Torridge St.

The official opening was attended by about 70 people last night.

Whitestone's general manager Simon Berry said the new building had separate chilled areas for dispatch and maturing cheese.

The design provided for expansion.

It replaces a former dispatch room and chillroom, which also catered for the cafe, two 12m long refrigerated containers and a 6m chiller.

At busy times, the company also used other chillers to hold their cheeses.

Mr Berry said operating the containers and other chillers had become expensive and the new dispatch centre offered efficiencies in managing distribution.

The company moved into the new building last week.

Tonight at a dinner at Riverstone Kitchen, Whitestone will launch three goats' milk cheeses to its distributors.

The varieties all have North Otago names - Parson's Rock (near Otematata) is a brie-style, Danseys Pass is a pressed white mould and Duntroon a pressed wax.


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