ALMA (KSNT) – Kansans have made their choice for this year’s “Coolest Thing Made in Kansas”. Kansas Manufacturing Council (KMC) announced the winner today and it is right here in our backyard.
After six weeks of competition, and nearly 30,000 total votes, Alma Creamery’s cheese curds won big. Alma Creamery has been in the cheese business for more than 75 years. Today, they use milk from the Flint Hills, which Alma Creamery says is the perfect place for cattle to produce great milk, the key to their great cheese.
“It started in 1946, basically as a resource for the local dairymen,” Alma creamery plant manager Cliff Cain said. “We pull from local dairies it’s all local Kansas milk and cheese.”
To make the famous curds, there is a long and specific process, one the creamery calls a “time-honored tradition of the past.”
“A curd is actually about the size of cottage cheese and what we do to make our curd, is actually pack those together in the cheddar table,” Cain said. “Then we hand cut and then flip that during the hand-cheddaring process. It takes about an hour and a half to two hours to get it to where we need, we add salt to it, and then we run it through the cheddar mill which cuts them up, drops it into curds, and then turns it into the curds in our bags you’re familiar with right now.”
Though the business has been around for many years, the business is constantly evolving. In 2022, Alma Creamery opened a new storefront off I-70 and added new flavors.
“We introduced four new flavors, dill, Mediterranean, garlic, and buffalo,” Cain said. “This year we’ve introduced bacon ranch which has been big. We also have fresh curds five days a week, which is unique to Kansas.”
The Alma community rallied around the creamery in KMC’s competition, casting their votes for the small-town cheese business. Following the win, Cain says Alma Creamery’s hopes are high for the future.