From Simple Beginnings.
Alfred Guggisberg, the founder of Guggisberg Cheese, took an interest
in cheese making at a very young age. He was only 16 when he began
to study the art of cheese making in the high pastures of the Alps
in his home land of Switzerland. He went on to attend the famous
Swiss Federal “Molkereishulle” (cheese maker’s
institute) to further improve upon his craft. Upon completing his
schooling, Alfred spent a number of years making cheese throughout
Europe and parts of Africa before coming over to the United States
in 1947 in search of a new challenge. It didn’t take long,
with his high standard of quality, for Alfred to earn a reputation
as an exceptional cheese maker. As a result of his abilities, local
Amish farmers, in search of a cheese maker to provide a market for
their milk, lured Alfred to the Doughty Valley in Charm, Ohio. The
operation that Alfred took over, known then as Doughty Valley Cheese,
evolved and became Guggisberg Cheese in 1950.
In the 1960s, after having sufficient time to experiment with the
local milk, Alfred was able to develop a new style of Swiss. His
objective in doing so was to come up with a taste that was more
favorable to the less-developed American palate. The main differences
with this cheese were that it featured smaller “eyes”
(holes) and a had creamier taste. Alfred’s wife, Margaret
Guggisberg, christened the new cheese “Baby Swiss” after
she saw a wheel of it next to the much larger wheel of traditional
In 1968, Guggisberg Baby Swiss Cheese was launched and Alfred’s
cheese house began producing larger quantities of Baby Swiss wheels
for the local community. While still in this early stage, Margaret,
being the assertive woman that she is, decided to approach the local
supermarket (Buehler’s) with some of Alfred’s new cheese.
Buehler’s agreed to take in some of this cheese and, within
a month, found that it was a good seller and reordered in larger
quantities. This relationship helped propel Baby Swiss into popularity,
and Buehler’s is still a regular customer today.
With Baby Swiss starting to become an established product, competitors
began coming out with their own imitations of the cheese. Their
problem was, they didn’t have that secret Guggisberg family
recipe, and, as the old adage goes… often imitated, never
duplicated! Guggisberg is the original Baby Swiss and the taste
has never been mirrored by any of its competition.
A longtime dream of Margaret's became a reality in 1983, with the
opening of the Chalet in the Valley Restaurant. Served there are
the authentic Swiss and Austrian cuisines. The restaurant is built
in the style of a Swiss Chalet and overlooks the scenic Doughty
Valley. Margaret Guggisberg supervised the operation when it opened,
and to this day still plays a key role in daily functions. Alfred
passed away in 1985, and his son, Richard Guggisberg, is now president.
Under Richard’s leadership, the company has grown into one
of the larger manufacturers of Swiss cheese in the US, and one of
the biggest cheese manufacturers of any sort in all of Ohio. Guggisberg
sells to retail and wholesale customers all over the continental
United States and Europe.
In 1995, Guggisberg Cheese purchased a facility in Sugarcreek,
Ohio. The factory was completely remodeled and old equipment was
replaced with state-of-the-art technology. The facility produces
a substantially higher volume compared tothe Doughty Valley Plant.
In January of 2009, Guggisberg acquired Deutsch Kase Haus of Middlebury,
Indiana. Deutsch Kase Haus is one of the country’s premier
manufacturers of Colby, Marble, Yogurt, and other stirred-curd cheeses.
This new array of products successfully expanded Guggisberg’s
product offerings and granted them better positioning in the market
place. The facility itself is state-of-the-art, and one of the most
automated cheese plants in the country.
Guggisberg is constantly growing and maturing as a company. Their
prominence hasn’t gone unnoticed, either. Guggisberg was awarded
Ohio Grand Champion Cheese Maker in the years 2002, 2004, 2005,
and 2009. Their premium Swiss earned 1st place trophies in 2007
and 2008 at the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin. In 2008,
the Baby Swiss also took 2nd place at the Expo in the same category
(Swiss styles). These awards highlight the long list of achievements
since the turn of the century. Complimenting them are championship
awards from fairs, shows, and festivals all over Ohio, including
the Ohio State Fair.
Guggisberg attributes their success to upholding their long-standing
traditions of superior quality, authenticity, dedicated employees
and a genuine concern for our customer's satisfaction.