Chow Town

Hemme Brothers Creamery brings family’s American Dream to fruition

Hemme Brothers Creamery cheeses are made at a farm in Sweet Springs, Mo.
Hemme Brothers Creamery cheeses are made at a farm in Sweet Springs, Mo.

David Hemme had been in the shop before. He had come around a couple times as a customer. He was always eager to talk about cheese! Mr Hemme was in his late 50s and he had a dream. A dream that he was putting into action.

Hemme was a farmer from Sweet Springs, Mo., who was in the pork business for years. As times changed he and his family had to adapt and they found themselves in the dairy business.

Hemme knew that he would have to adapt again in order to have the farm be a viable business for his four sons who expressed interest in returning to the farm. Making really good cheese became the dream, and David returned to The Better Cheddar this day to let us taste some of his first batches of cheese.

David quickly explained that the plan was to make really good cheddar but as that aged they were going to start making some money and sell fresh cheese. He opened a small Ball jar. The cheese inside was their version of the German classic Quark. The fluffy, pillowy curd was just lightly salted, letting the flavor of the milk shine through.

Quark in Germany is a ubiquitous fresh cheese that just about everyone eats. Quark can be eaten unstrained and spoonable like yogurt or strained of much of its whey, making it creamy and spreadable not unlike cream cheese.

Hemme’s Quark was the latter. Hemme offered to leave us the jar and promised to be back when the labels and jars were ready. I promptly took the cheese and spread it on a Colorado Palisade peach I had brought for lunch. This cheese is perfect for a good peach. This Quark is what your cottage cheese and canned peaches should have been when you were growing up.

The cheese really just takes on the flavors of whatever you throw at it. It’s great with granola or spread on a bagel. Mix in or pour over a spicy jam for a great snack. It can also be incorporated into many recipes as well.

We finally got the finished retail jars. We are also selling Hemme Brothers Creamery cheese curds. These classic cheddar curds come in several flavors. We rarely get curds this fresh around here so come see us for a bag; they won’t disappoint. And stay tuned for the first Hemme Cheddar when they hit the market in the coming months.

Check out the video that chronicles how David and the Hemme family got to this point. They have a great story of how the American Dream, while narrowing, is still alive on the small family farm.

Lincoln Broadbooks loves cheese. He is one of the first cheesemongers in the United States and Canada to become an American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professional. He is the manager and buyer for The Better Cheddar. You can find him on Twitter @LincolnBbooks and on Instagram @lincycheese