Barry Charlton and his partner, Cheryl Hulls, established Berrys Creek Gourmet Cheese in 2007 at Fish Creek, in South Gippsland.
How did you get started in the industry?
Barry began his career at the Drouin Butter Factory in 1975 working with Cheddar and Monterey. Over the following years he gained experience in mozzarella, ricotta, fetta, haloumi and fresh cheese. In 1990, Barry then joined Jindi Cheese and excelled in the production of camembert and brie. With such a well rounded background his ambition grew to master the art of blue cheese production.
Tell us a bit about your cheeses.
Our focus has been on bovine blue cheese varieties but in more recent times we have expanded into the non-bovine milk of both buffalo and goat. Consistency of our artisan products is a core value. All of our products are named after what is important to us – our local area and our people.
What is your favourite part about being a cheesemaker?
Experimenting and finding solutions inherent in handling a natural raw product, the end result being a successful new variety and the enjoyment this brings to our customers.
What are the biggest challenges you face in your role?
Each milk variety presents its’ own set of challenges which ultimately must not impact on our quality. The industry is demanding and we are all time poor dealing with so many aspects of our food industry and all the red tape involved in running a small business.
What opportunities do you see for the future of the Australian specialty/artisan cheese industry?
As long as there remain people with vision and passion, the artisan cheese industry in Australia will have every opportunity to grow and stamp our own unique flavours and textures on the international dairy scene.
What does being part of ASCA mean to you?
It’s important to
identify and bring together those producers who are so crucial to the promotion
and development of our artisan industry. Each success by our members is very
important in raising our profile both nationally and internationally.