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John and Ruth Appel of Appel Farms (date unknown). Photo courtesy Appel Farms

Local cheesemaker announces completion of new facility

Appel Farms of Ferndale recently moved their operations into a new 12,800-square-foot cheese production plant. The facility, “[positions Appel Farms] for future growth while increasing the farm’s efficiency and food security,” according to the company’s press release.

Appel Farms started cheese production 30 years ago in an 800-square-foot building on the farm founded by John Appel’s late father Jack and his mother Audrey according to the press release announcing completion of the new building. They have been adding on to it and using other buildings to accommodate growth until the family was convinced a new building was necessary.

appel farms new production facility 2017-01-05
Appel Farms new production facility next door to The Cheese Shop (January 5, 2017). Photo: Discover Ferndale

Cheese production currently uses more than half the milk from the farm’s 600-cow dairy herd, run by John’s brother Rich. In mid-2016, Appel Farms began producing Havarti, Parmesan and Maasdammer cheeses, adding to the gouda, Cheddar, quark, feta and paneer cheeses they had already been producing.

Appel Farms co-owners John and Ruth also operate a retail store, The Cheese Shop, located at 6605 Northwest Drive next door to the new facility. The Cheese Shop stocks Appel Farms cheeses and an assortment of gift items. There is also a cafe and espresso service inside. The cafe serves cheese platters and sandwiches featuring fresh baked goods and Appel Farms cheeses.

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