2_4_DiscoverBenelux_13_Januar_2014_MADS_Scan Magazine 1 17/12/2014 15:21 Page 18
Discover the flavoursome world of cheese It all started when Henri Willig inherited his family’s dairy farm. A farmer’s life wasn’t quite enough for him, so he decided to do a course in cheese making. Together with his wife, Riet, he built a cheese dairy next to the farm and in 1974 they opened their own little cheese shop, selling a new brand of cheese labelled ‘Henri Willig’. TEXT: MYRIAM GWYNNED DIJCK | PHOTOS: HENRI WILLIG
Now Henri Willig’s tasty cheeses are more popular than ever – they are currently sold in twenty shops in and around Amsterdam, including a chain of trendy outlets called Cheese & More by Henri Willig, and they also supply to wholesale customers. “Even though we’ve grown a lot throughout the years, we still stay true to our philosophy of being a personal and honest brand. We keep our production cycle short; our cheeses go straight from the countryside to the client,” says son Wiebe Willig, the general manager. Last year, the company celebrated its 40th birthday and currently employs 350 staff.
18 | Issue 13 | January 2015
With Wiebe as the second generation taking over the business, the Henri Willig is still very much family-owned. “We make everything ourselves in our two cheese dairies. We own every milk truck that collects the milk, so we can ensure the quality of our cheeses,” Wiebe says. “We go right against today’s trend of companies getting bigger and less personal and we see that this is something that appeals to people.”
are sold either made from goat’s, cow’s or sheep’s milk, and the selection is updated every year. “Some of our new flavours include coconut cheese, a goat’s cheese with lavender, and champagne flavoured cheese,” says Wiebe. Many of these varieties are exclusively available at their Henri Willig shops. The two most popular ones are the tried and tested Gouda cheese and the more adventurous truffle cheese.
Miniature cheese, maximal flavour
In fact, Wiebe and his team of cheese experts come together every month to develop new, unique flavours. “Every year we create at least six new flavours. Some of these will replace other cheeses, others
Known for their ‘Polderkaas’, ‘Hooidam mer’ and characteristic miniature cheeses, Henri Willig is not a company to sit still. At the moment, 30 different types and flavours
Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg.