Hook's Cheese Company
Mineral Point, Wisconsin
Tony and Julie Hook began as college sweethearts, and began a life-long love affair with cheesemaking as well when they founded Hook's Cheese Company in 1976. Tony and Julie started out making Cheddar and Swiss cheese, two staples of the Wisconsin cheese-scape. Today Tony, Julie, and their children, who are also part of the business, make over 50 varieties of cheese. Julie was the first and only woman to ever win the World Cheese Championship, which she did back in 1982 with her Colby cheese. In 1987 they moved their cheese plant from the farmland outside of Mineral Point into the city center, and set up aging caves where they could age or 'cure' more cheese. They still source all of their milk from small family dairy farms from the surrounding countryside. All of the farms that they work with are in at least their third generation - some are as old as seven and eight generations.