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Made in Wisconsin: Sargento Cheese

Posted at 10:50 AM, Feb 21, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-21 11:50:48-05

PLYMOUTH — Made in Wisconsin traveled to Plymouth and Sargento Cheese!

The cheese company has been operating in Sheboygan County since 1953 and has the innovative products to show for it. For the most part the company doesn’t make it’s own cheese, so for years they’ve carefully selected cheese from other cheesemakers. The process led to the company’s decades old moniker “The persnickety cheese people from Plymouth, Wisconsin.”

Current CEO Louie Gentine says the company his grandfather helped start 70 years ago, has always been a leader.

“Innovation throughout our 70 year history has been front and center and it's the reason why we've been able to do some of the things that we’ve done,” Gentine says.

Sargento innovations include vacuum sealing cheese, shredding cheese, and ultra thin slices.

But before the cheese can be sliced or shredded it has to be procured.

David Wentz is a State of Wisconsin certified cheese grader. He's one of many at Sargento that check the incoming cheese for smell, crumble and taste.

Wentz walked us through is process of testing cheddar cheese.

"It sounds kind of goofy but I'm looking for cheddar notes, a little bit of acid... That helps flavor development. I’m also kind of breathing in a little bit as I'm checking it in my mouth. You are using all your senses,” he says.

Sargento has grown to 2,500 employees in 5 different locations across the state. The company posted $1.8 billion in sales. Gentine says Sargento operates on the same business model started 70 year ago.

“Hire good people, and treat them like family.”