Over 65 years of artisanal cheeses.exceptional taste.tradition & family.
Who We Are
At Original Herkimer Cheese® we’ve been making artisan cheeses since 1949. We like to say that Original Herkimer Cheese® is “Where Excellence Is a Tradition”, and to us that’s personal. We are a 3rd generation family owned and operated business. We believe in making the highest quality of specialty cheese products, handcrafting them in the same meticulous way for over 65 years. We always start with cheddar cheese made only in New York State, add premium ingredients, sourced locally whenever possible. We carefully craft our dips and spreads in small batches. Our premium cheese balls and logs are made and wrapped by hand. All of our aged New York State cheddar is hand-cut and dipped in black wax.
Our products are designed to make your life easier and tastier. Whether you are arranging a beautiful cheese tray for entertaining, sending a unique gift, or making impressively easy meals for your family and friends, Original Herkimer Cheese® is the answer.
Experience for yourself the tasteful tradition of Original Herkimer Cheese®.
Founded by Sheldon & Norma Basloe, Original Herkimer Cheese® opened its doors as a mail-order cheese business in Herkimer, NY. 6 years later, the business had expanded so much that the Basloe's needed more space for production and moved their operations to Ilion, NY where the factory is still located today. In the 1970's, Norma extended her role in the business to oversee the retail shop - creating Herkimer Family Treasure house, which offered both cheese & non-cheese products, antiques, and more.
Looking to create a milder cheese product, buttery & smooth Chutter® is invented. Sheldon wanted to describe it as a cheddar that spreads like butter so he trademarks the term Chutter®. It was originally created as a hot pack, however, the product eventually became most popular in cold pack form. The Chutter® cold pack continues to be one of our most awarded Original Herkimer Cheese® products and is still featured every holiday season by a well-known innovative national retailer.
Inspired by Sheldon and Norma, the 2nd generation of the Basloe's joined the business following their college graduations. Peter joined in 1971, Michael in 1973 and Robert in 1975. While they grew up being exposed to all aspects of the business, they each found their place managing administration, sales/marketing and production areas, respectively.
Original Herkimer Cheese® founder, Sheldon Basloe, created the first cheeseball sold in grocery stores. He developed the process that allowed a fresh, refrigerated cheeseball to be able to be sold in groceries and enjoyed at home. He often referred to the cheeseball as his "Gourmet Secret" as he would feature the cheeseball as a main ingredient in dozens of recipes. Today, we offer the cheeseball in 9 gourmet flavors, sharp, port wine, blue, merlot, garlic & herb, smoked gouda, beer, buffalo blue and bruschetta.
This decade brought the most product growth with the introduction of Cold Pack Squares, Cheese & Nut Circles & Chocolate Cheese Fudge. As another product unique to Original Herkimer Cheese®, Fudge was inspired by a chocolate cheese nut recipe that was up-sized into a product. The product went through many phases as it was re-branded as Cheese Fudge, Chudge - including a Chudgie Bear mascot and as it is referred to today, Chocolate Cheese Fudge. Still a dessert favorite, chocolate cheese fudge provides a creamy, rich and melt-in-your-mouth taste.
Pretzel Dip is invented during an employee contest for new products, suggesting a cold pack blend of cheddar, mustard and sour cream. The long-time employee still comes in to pick up Pretzel dip every few years! Still a fan favorite, Pretzel Dip won the Silver for Dairy Dips at the New York State Fair Dairy Competition in 2018.
Sheldon Basloe is inducted into the International Dairy, Deli, Bakery Association for his innovation in the specialty cheese industry. Starting in the 1950s, he introduced some of the first cheese-based dips and smoked cheeses which could be merchandised out of refrigeration. In the 1960s he introduced dry dips and had early success with wrapping cheese in plastic wrap for extended shelf-life. He continued his innovation into the 80s, when he was quick to pick up the trend toward convenient, microwaveable and light cheese.
Following in the footsteps of their grandparents, father & uncles, the 3rd generation of Basloe's joins the business with Jacob joining in 2001 and most recently, Alana in 2018 working in production and sales/marketing, respectively.
Taking a nod from the 1970s hot pack Chutter® product, the Creamery Reserve product line is invented featuring 3 delicious flavors: Cheddar, Spicy Tomato & Buffalo Blue. Smooth and creamy spreadable cheeses made from a blend of special reserve cheddar and other premium ingredients.