When you think about cheese what comes to your mind? If you are like me I immediately think to those orange Kraft Singles that I put on my ham or turkey sandwich. If I am feeling exotic, I'll buy a block of pepper-jack (Ooo...spicy!). Well I'm here to tell you that there is more to cheese than individually wrapped orange squares. A group of three local women have started a cheese-making business that is creating some buzz.

CannonBelles Cheese was founded by three women; Jackie Ohmann, Deeann Lufkin, and Kathy Hupf. According to the company's website back in the fall of 2012 Jackie  and Deeann decided to try their hand at making some cheese. The two weren't strangers to crafting their own edibles as Jackie and Deeann had already tried their hands at wine and beer making. The first go-round was a recipe for quick mozzarella and didn't turn out the best. From there the duo turned into a trio after they asked their friend Kathy who was a longtime dairy farmer to help with the business. The three moved the business to Cannon Falls in 2015.

The cheese-makers have recently added some hardware after their queso fresco won the American Cheese Society first prize in the queso fresco and queso blanco category in Denver this past year.

If you are looking to try some of the CannonBelles creations, their cheese is sold in places like Rochester’s People’s Food Co-op and the Hy-Vee on West Circle Drive, it is bought by Parley Lake Winery in Waconia and Tanzenwald Brewery in Northfield.

The women are also looking to diversify their product line and build a plant in the Cannon Falls area.

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