Two of the lead news stories in the local media this week had to do with success of two local cheese factories at the 86th annual British Empire Cheese Show. For seven of the last eight years Bothwell Cheese has been awarded first place in the Marble Cheese category. They also won second place in the Smoked Parmesan category. This is a remarkable feat in that they have only been making this product for a year. The Grunthal cheese plant, owned by Parmalat Canada, took first place honors with their Feta Cheese for the fifth consecutive year.

I was reminded of an artifact we received several years ago. Elizabeth (Reimer) Regier donated a medal won by her father Klaas W. Reimer for top quality cheese exhibited at the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, New York in 1901. Mr. Reimer established cheese factories in Steinbach in 1889, in Blumenort in 1892 and in Hochfeld in 1896.

Southeastern Manitoba has a rich history of cheese manufacturing. Ron Friesen’s book Pioneers of Cheese covers the topic for all of southern Manitoba. The book is available in our Gift Shop for $14.00.

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About the Author

Barry is the Executive Director of the Mennonite Heritage Village. While he does not consider himself to be a historian, he places a high value on the preservation and interpretation of the Mennonite and pioneer stories that help people of all ages understand and appreciate their heritage. Learn more about the MHV.

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