Our Story

Founded in 1890 by Colonel John Coolidge, father of President Calvin Coolidge, Plymouth is the second oldest cheese factory in the United States.

The factory still occupies the original building built in 1890 by Colonel John Coolidge, a dairy farmer and father to Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President of the United States. A practical man, John Coolidge created Plymouth Cheese to turn extra milk into a product with a longer shelf life. And he looked to the granular curd recipe that the first European settlers brought with them in the 1600s. 

After generations in the Coolidge family, cheesemaker Jesse Werner bought the business in 2009, fulfilling a lifelong dream. Jesse had attended the Vermont Institute of Artisanal Cheese (VIAC) at the University of Vermont where he studied the craft including chemistry, microbiology, cultures and artisanal cheese design. 

He went on to apprentice with Marc Andre St. Yves of Fromager Conseil ENC/INTERNATIONAL. When the opportunity to take over arose, Jesse jumped. 

He took on the momentous task of reviving the Plymouth Cheese Factory and that original 1890’s granular curd cheese recipe. The antique cheese factory and its equipment were also brought back to life, so that Jesse and team could craft small batch cheese hand-dipped in wax — the way it was done over 125 years ago on the Plymouth homestead. 

Jesse runs the business with the support of his brilliant wife, Sarit, who is responsible for designing the brand and packaging and running their social media. His dynamic and charming parents bring the cheese to the people and support backend operations. And together with their team members, they’re keeping the Plymouth tradition alive.  

Today, Plymouth is the closest cheese you can find to the blocks that graced the kitchen tables of America’s first farmers.

Inside the Factory

Our cheeses are crafted, cut and waxed by hand — just like they did more than 125 years ago on the Plymouth homestead.

The secret to making superior cheese is superior milk. We use only the finest, pasture-raised raw cow's milk in Vermont — free of additives, antibiotics and rBST. Our milk is sourced from a single dairy herd from a sustainable, seventh-generation family farm 40 minutes up the road. That means the milk is pure, fresh and wholesome. We are confident that once you have tasted our cheeses you will appreciate and understand our obsessive attention to detail and our passion for preserving and growing the natural working landscapes here in Vermont.

We take that creamy goodness and use it to hand craft granular curd — one of the oldest types of cheddar cheeses. So many variables have to align with just the right alchemy, synchrony and balance to create a perfect batch. The rich, open-bodied texture of granular curd cheese requires skillful cutting and continuous stirring of the curds. It’s an artform that owner and cheesemaker Jesse Werner is proud to practice.

Values

Friendship

We choose to see the good, 
and treat those we encounter 
as dear old friends.

Authenticity

We work hard to do things right, and take care of the people, the land and the cows of Vermont.

Enthusiasm

We swoon for cheese, and we share its wonders with people 
far and wide.

Come on Down!

When happy, pandemic-free days are here again, the public is invited to visit the Plymouth Cheese Factory for a self-guided tour and observe Jesse and his assistants as they create Plymouth Cheese. More often than not, Jesse will come out and wax poetic about his beloved craft. In addition to our delicious general store, we also have a charming museum and education center on the second floor that takes patrons back in time to experience the history of cheesemaking in Vermont. For larger groups, please call ahead so we can greet you properly.