In 1970 Tony Hook began apprenticing at a small cheese factory in Barneveld and got his cheesemakers license in 1972. Tony and Julie formed Hook’s Cheese Company and began producing cheese in 1976. At that time we
only produced Cheddar and some Swiss. In 1980 we expanded into making Colby, Monterey Jack, some flavored Jacks, and Marble Jack.
In 1982 our entry of Colby won the “Best of Class” award in the World Cheese Championship. It was then judged against the winners of all the other classes and it was judged the “Finest Cheese in the World” out of 482 entries.
There were entries from fourteen states and sixteen countries. Julie Hook was, and still is, the only woman to win the World Championship! We then founded Hook’s Cheese Company, Inc. to market our cheeses.
By 1987 Hook’s Cheese Company, Inc. had outgrown our rural Mineral Point cheese factory and we purchased a larger facility in the city of Mineral Point. This gave us the ability to store and cure larger quantities of cheese.
At Hook’s Cheese Company, Inc. we age our cheese in curing caves at
just the right temperature and humidity for a slow curing process that allows our cheeses to age to perfection. Every few months each batch is taste tested to insure that only the cheeses of the highest quality are saved to age. This is evident in our aged cheddars, such as the Two Year, Three Year, Four Year, Five Year, Six Year, Seven Year, and especially in our highly acclaimed Ten Year Sharp Cheddar, which won an ACS first place in 2006! The only Ten
Year Cheddar to win this award!
In 1997 we also began producing Blue Cheese. The cave to cure the blue is kept at a higher temperature and a very high humidity to allow the blue mold to develop. We invite you to try it and see if you don’t agree that this is also a cheese connoisseur’s delight! In 2001 we started making Gorgonzola.
In 2004 we developed two new blue-veined cheeses. Tilston Point is a
drier, washed-rind blue, and Blue Paradise is a double-cream blue. In 2009 we started making a sheep milk blue called Little Boy Blue. This cheese has won 1st place at ACS 2011, 2012, and 2014 along with numerous other awards.
In 2012 we started making a goat milk blue called Barneveld Blue. And in
2013 we started making a mixed milk blue with cow, sheep, and goat milk
called EWE CALF to be KIDding Blue.
We make a variety of cow milk cheeses , sheep milk cheeses, and goat
milk cheeses. One of these we started making in 2014 called Triple Play. This cheese uses all 3 milks and has flavor notes of Baby Swiss, Gouda, and Havarti.
We were college sweethearts and have been making cheeses our
customers love for over 45 years. We make cheese in a facility that was built into the hills of Mineral Point over 150 years ago during the areas mining era.
Over 90 years of cheesemaking experience show through since our
cheeses have won numerous grand champion awards at the county, state,
American Cheese Society, and world championship levels.
You are welcome to come and visit us at our plant in historic Mineral Point located at 320 Commerce Street. We also have a booth at the Dane County Farmer’s Market on the Capitol Square in Madison, WI.
Our booth is located on Pinckney Street. We are there every Saturday from the mid-April until the beginning of November. The market moves indoors in mid-November through Christmas and is held at the Monona Terrace. It then moves to the Madison Senior Center from January through mid-April. Stop by and sample our entire range of cheeses and see if our cheeses are the best you have ever tasted.
TONY & JULIE
JERRY, JULIE, and BRIAN HOOK
HOOK’S CHEESE COMPANY, INC.
320 Commerce Street,
Mineral Point,WI 53565