Califonia Bountiful

Central Coast Creamery

One man's lifelong passion turns into worldwide success!

In a small, nondescript warehouse in Paso Robles, there is a cheese oasis just waiting to be discovered. It's all the brainchild of Reggie Jones, who started Central Coast Creamery in 2007 with the hopes of using his knowledge of cheesemaking to turn this wine country into wine and cheese country.

Reggie molds 180,000 pounds of cheese a year here, including Goat Gouda, which recently won a prize in the American Cheese Society competition. Part of the reason for Reggie's success is the fact that his cheeses come from several different milk sources—local goat, cow and sheep milk. And one of Reggie's most noteworthy cheeses is a Swiss cheese—he's the only one in California making it!

The main goal in cheesemaking is to concentrate the solids enough to make cheese, so Reggie and his team work at separating the curds from the whey. For every 10 pounds of milk, there is 1 pound of cheese. They give the remaining 9 pounds of whey, a nutrient-rich byproduct, to local farmers for their livestock to eat.

The cheese curds are cut into squares and pressed into molds, where they'll eventually be flipped and then spend the night in the molds before getting bathed in a salty brine for the next 48 hours. From there, the cheese goes into the aging room, where it will be flipped every so often to ensure the rind develops and thus flavoring develops correctly. After aging, it's cut and labeled and sent to a variety of retailers here in California and across the country to enjoy.

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