LaGrander's Hillside Dairy first started as a Farmer's Co-op in 1916. The original plant was destroyed by a fire in 1925 and was rebuilt at its current location. In 1933, Leo Beil purchased and operated Hillside Dairy. In 1960, Dannie and Lorraine LaGrander purchased Hillside Dairy and moved from Marshfield to Stanley, and took over the daily operations. Dannie and Lorraine were both cheesemakers and operated the factory with two other employees.
In 1960, the operation looked a little different than it does today. Back then the plant received 8,000 pounds of can milk daily, yielding 800 pounds of cheese. They manufactured Muenster and Brick and in later years began producing 13-pound Cheddar longhorns and 23-pound daisies. By 1978, Hillside Dairy had switched from canned milk to all bulk milk.
It wasn't until 1992 that the Dairy took on the current name of LaGrander's Hillside Dairy. In 1993, Randy LaGrander along with his wife Sandy became the second LaGrander generation to operate the factory. Randy earned his cheesemaker's license at the young age of 15 and became a Master Cheesemaker in 2004.
LaGrander's Hillside Dairy Today:
Now into the third generation of cheesemakers Master Cheesemaker, Ryan LaGrander, and cheesemaker, Joe LaGrander, now run the day-to-day operations. LaGrander's receives approximately 800,000 pounds of fresh, quality milk each day from 140 local producers.
With seven licensed cheesemakers, three Master Cheesemakers, and dozens of devoted staff, LaGrander's manufactures a variety of cheeses including the best cheese curds around (we may be a little biased). We also produce our specialty cheeses including Colby, Cheddar, Monterey, Monterey Jack, Colby Jack, Pepper Jack, and a variety of Gouda flavors. LaGrander's has won many national and world championship awards for their specialty cheeses. With the ever-changing industry, our number one commitment remains the same, to produce safe, wholesome, quality cheese for our customers for many years to come.
Please contact us with questions and/or comments.