As a 1930s Farm Girl, Dorothy Kolb fell in love with the cows at her grandfather’s Illinois creamery, which grew into Kolb-Lena, the first European-style cheesery in the Midwest.
After Kolb became the first woman to earn a degree in dairy science at Iowa State University in Ames, she met and married a fellow cheese-lover, Jim Demeter, a Fulbright Scholar from Greece, and together they reinvented the family business.
Building on 19th century techniques, Dorothy and Jim innovated cheese cultures, expanding their offerings with a range of flavorful cheeses. Over the years, Kolb-Lena perfected the Iowa-style Baby Swiss, was among the first to introduce domestic Feta, and developed exceptional Brie, Camembert and other delectable cheeses.
Now, 50 years later, Dorothy’s family and the Kolb-Lena plant are behind two new cheeses crafted in her honor, developed in partnership with specialty cheese producer Savencia Fromage & Dairy:
- DOROTHY’S COMEBACK COW – (top two wedges pictured) Dorothy was known to work tirelessly or, as they say, until the cows come home, perfecting her soft-ripened cheeses, and this bloomy rind cheese is made from cow’s milk with rustic, fragrant notes and tinged orange with age.
- DOROTHY’S KEEP DREAMING – (cheese wheel on bottom) Passionate and optimistic, Dorothy secretly dreamed of the day she would create a soft-ripened cheese with creamy notes, developing a robust flavor as it matured. Her dream was made a reality with this tangy, complex cow’s milk cheese.
Featuring rBST-free milk sourced from local farms and proprietary cultures found in raw-milk cheeses for deep, unique flavors, Dorothy’s cheeses uphold a respect for the cheese-making process that keeps hand manipulation where it matters – dipping, coating and wrapping. The line’s signature package is designed in the delicate shape of freshly sprung flowers, inspired by Apple River Canyon at the foot of the Kolb-Lena plant.