About The River

Friday, July 11, 2014

On the Road Friday ~ Marieke Gouda ~ Holland's Family Cheese LLC ~ Thorp, Wisconsin

Welcome to, On the Road Friday.
This week Jeremy and I had some business in Marathon City, Wisconsin. Our drive took us past a brand new creamery in Thorp, Wisconsin. We decided to stop in on our drive back home.
I am so glad  we took the time to visit.
And now I will take you...sit back, grab your tea and let us take a trip.

Marieke Penterman was born and raised in the Netherlands where she grew up on her parents 60 cow dairy farm. This is where her passion for dairy  cows and farming began.
Her husband Rolf, emigrated to Thorp, Wisconsin and started a 350 cow dairy farm with his brother in May of 2002. Marieke followed Rolf a year later.
Once in the United States she missed the cheese from back home and began researching how to start her own business. Marieke decided to get her Wisconsin Cheesemaking License. She worked with a local  cheesemaker and traveled back to her home country where she trained alongside two different cheesemakers  throughout the week.

Just four months after Marieke crafted her first batch of Gouda, she captured a gold award at the US Champion Cheese Contest in 2007!!
Dozen more followed including her biggest win thus far, the United States Grand Champion in 2013!

 Me, holding some Aged Gouda to bring home for the boys to try.

Holland's Family Cheese will hold an Open House on July, 26, 2014
Alice in Dairyland will be one of the many fun guests at the Open House.

 Holland's Family Cheese Shop has a fun collection of gifts, candies and other treats imported from Holland.

The business started with only one person helping Rolf and Marieke in the creamery. Today the crew is made up of 13 women and 3 men.

 A tour of the milking parlor.

 Exceptional milk makes impressive cheese.
Holland's Family Cheese thanks their cows for that. 
They take pride in caring for their cows, with love and respect. It is a code they live by on the farm. They have the cows relax in a sand filled  free ~ stall barn. They have rotating back-scratcher brushes, sprinkler systems and fans to keep them cool. They like to call it the Cow Spa. Guests are welcome to visit the cows anytime.


Combined with farm fresh milk and traditional herbs, spices, seeds and berries gathered by hand in the Netherlands. Each wheel of cheese  is carefully aged on Dutch pine planks, honoring the Old World cheese making methods.

 I found this notice interesting.

 I love the siding on the buildings. 
Jeremy says, "It is called, Board and Batten"

If your are traveling on Wisconsin State Highway 29 this summer, be sure to take time to stop at Holland's Family Cheese LLC.
And it is a great place to stop with kids. This fall they plan to have a corn maze too.

Thank you for taking the trip with me today.
Have a great weekend.


  1. Hi Carla, This was great fun to read about and I love the photos. My husband loves ALL cheese and would enjoy this place so much.
    Hope you all enjoy the weekend.

  2. Now I know where the "cheese head" nickname comes from! That place looked amazing. I loved the picture of you holding the cheese on the cow. How fun to discover some place like that!

  3. I would so love to visit there. I grew up in Wisconsin and do love cheese. Those cow sculptures and the bench are cute.

  4. Great tour! I love going to Wisconsin and usually find a way to grab some cheese when I'm there!

  5. I LOVE cheese!! Looks like a very clean place!! Cheese making has come a long way!

  6. I love cheese. We make grilled pineapple chicken quesadillas with gouda cheese. Loved reading this story. TFS Janice

  7. Looks like an interesting place to visit. I love Cumin Gouda - luckily no one else does in my house - so I get to have it to myself. Have a great weekend.

  8. Wow! Is the milking operation automated? An unbelievable set up and a far cry from my dads cousins dairy farm I spent time at in the summer when a child...:)

  9. One of the wonderful perks of living in Wisconsin is the creameries! I have not heard of this one, but it sounds wonderful! I will be watching for their cheeses in my stores. And, I mapped Thorp in case we are ever that direction!
    PS. Fun seeing you in a pic!

  10. I love Gouda. I hope the boys enjoyed the Gouda you brought back for them. How fun that you got to have an adventure with your love. I also enjoyed seeing your smiling face in a picture!

  11. Fantastic post, Carla! Kevin's been holding out on me. He's been in thorp many times and never mentioned this. We love Gouda and will be making many trips east on 29. So glad you told us about this place.


High Fives from Wisconsin!

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