Enterprise Europe Network

A Slovenian micro company, specialized in the boutique hand-made production of high-quality premium cheeses, is looking for partners among the most elite restaurants, hotels and tourist resorts and offers manufacturing agreements

Country of origin:
Country: 
SLOVENIA
Opportunity:
External Id: 
BOSI20210907001
Published
10/09/2021
Last update
16/09/2021
Expiration date
17/09/2022

Keywords

Partner keyword: 
Health food
Other consumer products
Hotels and similar accommodation
Holiday and other short-stay accommodation
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Summary

Summary: 
The Slovenian mid-mountain micro cheese factory, with a long tradition in gastronomy and tourism, hand makes a boutique series of high-quality aged cheeses (with white, blue or red mold) of a higher price range. The cheeses age deep underground, at constant temperature and high humidity. The company is looking for partners among the most elite restaurants, delicatessens, hotels and resorts that would like to present cheeses on their menus and offers a small series manufacturing agreement.

Description

Description: 

The Slovenian company has a long tradition of operating in the gastronomic and tourism sector. For many years it has been managing a tourist boarding house with accommodation, carrying out catering and culinary activities, which are connected with various cultural and artistic activities in the high mountain environment of northwestern Slovenia.
In the last years, the company decided to start a new business and open a small cheese factory, which started with the boutique production of high-quality aged cheeses (with white, blue or red mold) of a higher price range. These are premium products intended for prestigious restaurants (eg. Michelin-starred restaurants), 5-star hotels and tourist resorts, boutique (online) stores with premium products.

The company currently produces 6 different types of cheese, which are made from whole organic cow's milk delivered from a local farm:
Type 1 – the cheese is inspired by “cheddar” type of cheese. Its specialty is that it matures in raw cotton fabric, which allows even exchange of moisture, thus the cheese develops a unique, fuller taste. On the surface of the cheese, a natural mold develops during ripening, which gives the cheese a unique structure. The cheese acquires a sharpness of taste with ageing.
Type 2 - this cheese contains more moisture, the core of the cheese stays softer, spreadable, the taste is sweeter. The cheese matures in a raw cotton fabric, which allows even exchange of moisture, thus the cheese develops a unique, fuller taste. Natural mold develops on the surface of the cheese during ripening, which gives the cheese a unique appearance.
Type 3 - the cheese is made according to the same procedure as first type of cheese, with the difference that it is also grafted with blue mold “Roque 40”. The cheese is pierced during ripening to allow it to develop mold in the core. The cheese matures for about 3 months. The taste is unique, spicy. The intensity of the taste increases with ageing. The core is slightly creamy with blue veins in the cheese. The cheese ripens unprotected.
Type 4 - the cheese is made by the same process as second type. It is placed in a barrel instead of on the shelf during the ripening period. It is burried in hay and coated with local seasonal herbs. Satureja and thyme are dominant. During ripening, the cheese absorbs the aroma, which penetrates evenly through the core. The core is firm, elastic. When the cheese is ripe and taken out, its surface is rustic and interspersed with dried herbs.
Type 5 – this cheese is inspired by “camembert” type of cheese. Microbiological culture of “Penicilium candidum” gives to cheese characteristic appearance. Its surface is covered with snow-white noble mold. The cheese is fluffy to the touch, the dough is soft and elastic. Mature cheese has a slight mushroom taste. Cheese wheels weigh between 250 and 300 grams.
Type 6 - the cheese is one of the cheeses with a washed rind. It is square in shape, the smell is very intense, the core is soft and lubricating. The rind is washed every few days with a solution of salt and water, throughout the ripening period. Thanks to the added “Bacteria Linence”, the cheese acquires its characteristic orange rind. The ripening period is two months.

Currently they manufacture around 2,000 kg of cheese a year. They want to increase the production to 4,000 - 5,000 kg per year.

All the cheese mature at an altitude of 1000m, deep underground, where the conditions for ripening are optimal.

The company’s products are already well known among Slovenian chefs of Michelin awarded restaurants (eg. Ana Roš from Casa Franko, Tomaž Kavčič from Zemono), sold in specialized top delicatessen (web)shops, wineshops and touristic resorts in Slovenia and Austrian Carinthia region. The company would like to enter new markets in EU and offer their cheese products in elite restaurants, hotels, boutique shops with delicacy foods. The company offers small-scale manufacturing agreement.

Advantages & innovations

Cooperation plus value: 
Advantages of products compared to products of competing manufacturers: - only local ingredients are used for cheese production (milk, herbs, etc.) - selected raw materials - locally produced organic milk, controlled origin, livestock graze freely on middle mountain pastures and meadows - the emphasis is on the quality of the cheese (not on the quantity) and the appropriate maturation process in a controlled environment - the products are handmade, processed during maturation and hand-packed in ecological, sustainable packaging - high-quality cheeses for special occasions (higher quality and price) Advantages of the company in comparison with competing manufacturers: - The advantage of the company is that it does not deal directly with livestock and milk production but buys high-quality raw materials (organically produced milk) from the nearest milk producer - Small-batch, boutique cheese production - cheese is produced 2 times or 3 times a week only - The emphasis is on quality, not quantity - Flexibility in the development of new recipes and types of cheese - the company offers the possibility of developing and making cheese to order and according to the desired recipe - Possibility of delivery of small or very small quantities (from a few kg to a few dozens of kg)

Stage of development

Cooperation stage dev stage: 
Already on the market

Partner sought

Cooperation area: 
The Slovenian company is looking for partners as buyers of their cheeses among micro and small companies, whether catering companies, elite restaurants, hotels, tourist resorts or (e-)delicatessen shops with selected high-quality gourmet products in a higher price range. Their role will be to order a small amount of cheese from the Slovenian cheese factory and test it among customers or guests and later order a desired quantity of cheese (or different types of cheese) at Slovenian micro-cheese factory and then offer it to their customers in restaurants, hotels, resorts or shops as part of their culinary offerings or cuisine experience. The Slovenian company will take care of the timely production and delivery of ordered quantities of cheese and will add a smaller amount of cheese for promotion and degustation purposes.

Type and size

Cooperation task: 
SME 11-50,SME <10

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Selection of cheeses

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Cheese in ripening

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Type 4 cheese (2#)

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Type 4 cheese

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Type 3 cheese (2#)

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Type 3 cheese

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Type 2 cheese wrapped in fig and walnut leaves

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Type 2 cheese wrapped in vine leaves

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Type 2 cheese

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Type 1 cheese (2#)

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Type 1 cheese