Apostle Whey Cheese has added Italian style gelato and fresh bottled milk to its award winning food tourism experience.
The expansion comes on the back of last month’s recognition as a finalist in the Excellence in Food Tourism category of the RACV Victorian Tourism Awards.
Julian and Dianne Benson launched their new non-homogenised bottled milk and range of house-made gelatos this week in time for the busy Summer holiday period.
Julian said they had invested in an extension to their farmgate shop at Cooriemungle to accommodate the gelato making operation and new café area.
“Both the bottled milk and Dianne’s gelato venture are natural extensions of our fully integrated dairy food experience,” he said.
“Our son Luke produces extremely high quality milk for our cheese making and that milk is already piped directly into our boutique production facility right next to the dairy.
“We’re very excited that we’ve been able to launch new dairy products that can value add to more of our milk and provide new paddock to plate food experiences for our visitors.”
Dianne said she had completed specialist training to make the gelato and it had quickly become a new passion for her.
“It’s really rewarding for me to be able to take the milk from our own cows and turn it into a range of gelato flavours for people to taste and buy,” she said.
“Obviously we’ve been turning our milk into cheese for quite a while, but both Julian and I wanted to do more in terms of growing our genuine on-farm food tourism offering.
“To be able to tell our visitors that the entire operation, including the milking of the cows, happens right here is pretty unique.”
Julian said the new Apostle Way Full Cream Milk was pasturised, but not homogenised which meant it was full cream and packed with natural flavour.
“It’s how milk is supposed to be, I think. The cream rises to the top and you just give it a quick shake to mix it again like we did when we were kids,” he said.
“It is important to us that the quality of our milk is the real hero of all our products.
“We’re farmers and animal lovers at heart and it brings me a lot of joy to tell our visitors how critical the welfare of our animals is to the quality of the products they enjoy.”
Julian said the milk was available in three sizes and he was currently working with a number of partners to make the products available right along the Great Ocean Road.
“We all know that more and more people are looking for food experiences when they travel and as a stakeholder we’re proud that we’re helping to build the region’s offering,” he said.
Apostle Whey Cheese is open seven days a week from 10am to 5pm.