Meet the Cheesemaker: Bill Anderson

Bill in the cave at Bleu Mont Dairy with a batch of Wisconsin Tomme Bill in the cave at Bleu Mont Dairy, with a batch of Wisconsin Tomme

Crème de la Coulée cheesemaker Bill Anderson has been a licensed Wisconsin cheesemaker for over 10 years. Before becoming a cheesemaker, Bill was the lead cheesemonger at a nationally-renowned cheese store, where he gained an appreciation for cheeses from around the world, especially European and French cheese making traditions which are under-represented in Wisconsin.

Inspired by these ancient old-world traditions, Bill embarked on a journey to recreate French-style soft-ripened cheeses within the context of the highly-industrialized Wisconsin cheese industry. In 2010 Bill completed his apprenticeship required by the state of Wisconsin for all commercial cheesemakers, working under cheesemaker Willi Lehner of Bleu Mont Dairy. Willi remains a close confidant and collaborater to this day.

Photo of Bill holding a cheese board Photo credit: The Isthmus

Bill founded Crème de la Coulée in late 2012. As a one-man operation, without any cheese factory of his own, Bill has rented space in numerous established cheese factories around the state, where he crafts his own recipes using locally available milk from Wisconsin family farms, using grassfed and organic milk from Wisconsin's Driftless or Coulee region as often as possible. The fresh cheeses are then taken to an affinage facility, where they are cured in a cellar or cave-like enviroment for anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, and even a few years for the firmer varieties. This old-world aging process differentiates Crème de la Coulée's cheese from most conventional Wisconsin cheese.

For the past few years, Bill has rented production space at Specialty Cheese Company in Reeseville, WI, and utilized Bleu Mont Dairy's underground cheese cave for affinage.

Farmers markets have always been the mainstay of Crème de la Coulée's business. For the first 5 years of business you could find us every Saturday morning from April through November at Madison's West Side Community Market. In 2018, Bill was accepted from the waitlist into the Dane County Farmer's market on the capital square, the largest producer-only farmer's market in the United States, where he has been vending since.

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