MMPA purchases specialty cheese plant in Indiana, diversifies product portfolio

Dairy Cooperative to Assume Ownership of Deutsch Käse Haus on Nov. 1

Novi, MICH.—The Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA) today announced the purchase of the Guggisberg Deutsch Käse Haus in Middlebury, Indiana. The cheese plant acquisition diversifies MMPA’s dairy product portfolio which currently includes award-winning butter, powder and other fluid milk products.

“We are eager to continue to grow our footprint in the Great Lakes region and utilize the expertise at Deutsch Käse Haus to gain greater diversity of our product portfolio,” MMPA General Manager Joe Diglio said. “MMPA members have a proven track record of producing high quality milk and to be able to align with an award winning cheese plant located in close proximity to our Constantine plant provides great synergies in our milk marketing strategy.”

The Deutsch Käse Haus—translated from German as German Cheese House—was founded in 1979 to serve the needs of local Amish dairy farmers. Today, the plant processes around 400,000 pounds of milk per day and employs 55 people. MMPA plans to retain the current employee team following the ownership transition. The plant is currently owned by Guggisberg Cheese Company of Millersburg, Ohio.

“The Deutsch Käse Haus has established a valued and trusted legacy in Indiana. I am confident MMPA’s progressive leadership will carry on this legacy as we move forward, bringing mutual benefit to both Guggisberg Cheese Company and MMPA,” Richard Guggisberg, owner of Guggisberg Cheese Company. “MMPA has a strong membership base in northern Indiana which will allow Deutsch Käse Haus to continue providing high quality products under new ownership.”

The Deutsch Käse Haus produces award-winning cheese, internationally recognized at the World Dairy Expo, U.S. Cheese Makers Competition and World Cheese Makers Competition. The plant mainly produces Colby cheese, a softer, milder flavored cheddar cheese, in addition to Colby-jack, Monterey-jack, Cheddar, pepper-jack cheese and other flavors.

Following the acquisition, MMPA intends to continue manufacturing the current types of cheeses made at the plant. The investment positions MMPA to further explore expansion opportunities at the Middlebury plant location in the future.

Michigan Milk Producers Association, established in 1916, is a member-owned and controlled milk-marketing cooperative serving approximately 2,000 dairy farmers in Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin and Ohio. MMPA owns milk processing plants in Ovid and Constantine, Michigan, and the cooperative handles over 5 billion pounds of milk annually.