Prairie Pure Cheese was formed in July 2004 as a partnership between a dairy farm family (Todd & Brenda Aves) and their herd veterinarian’s family (Brian & Carole Gerloff) as a way to improve the profitability of a small dairy in the suburban area.
The Aves began as the owners of the cows that produced the milk for the cheese. Located in Belvidere, Illinois, the Aves farm is a 100 year old dairy farm. The other original partner was their cow veterinarian, Dr. Brian Gerloff (as well as his family) who also grew up on a 100 year old dairy farm in Woodstock, IL. With Dr. Gerloff having his PhD in Dairy Nutrition, he advised the Aves on what to feed the cattle to keep them healthy, provide great tasting milk, and to produce large volumes of milk-without the use of growth hormones. These things all help contribute to the great flavor in all Prairie Pure Cheese.
In 2013, Brian began working with the Hildebrandt family to improve their cows’ diets. With Brian’s background in veterinary medicine and nutrition, the Hildebrandt’s were quick to incorporate Dr. Gerloff’s recommendations. Hildebrandt Family Farms is a family farm near Hustisford, WI and consists of Alvin, Roger, Jared, Ty & Brett. It was started in 1960 by Alvin & Roger’s parents. In 2017, Brian brought up the idea of Hildebrandt Family Farms joining the cheese company. Shortly after, the Hildebrandt’s were onboard. Now Hildebrandt Family Farms produce the milk that is made into Prairie Pure Cheese.
Prairie Pure Cheese sought out the best cheese craftsmen to work with and initially began working with a small cheese plant in Southern Wisconsin - Edelweiss Town Hall Dairy located in Monticello, Wisconsin. The first batch of Butterkäse and Cheddar cheese was available in September 2004, and was marketed and sold in seasonal outlets across Illinois. Then Prairie Pure Cheese began working with Deppeler Creamery in Monroe, Wisconsin who makes our undeniably delicious Swiss cheese. In 2011, Wiskerchen Cheese of Auburndale, Wisconsin was invited to make Feta and Blue Cheese. In 2013 our Cheddar cheese was changed over to Cedar Grove Cheese in Plain, WI. In 2014 the Cheddar cheese changed to a White Cheddar, which has an amazing flavor, with no coloring added. We strive to produce healthy, flavorful milk so the craftsmen can make the best tasting Prairie Pure Cheese for you, our customers!