Fromagerie des Grondines was inaugurated in 2007 at the AACAT farm, owned by Charles Trottier and Guylaine Rivard. The couple had long dreamed of making cheese to take advantage of the milk from their Brown Swiss dairy herd. The dream started taking shape in 2004, when the farmers joined forces with their friend and amateur cheesemaker Louis Arseneault. A project manager in Montreal at the time, Mr. Arseneault, who was already making cheese in the basement of his ancestral home in Grondines, decided to leave the city and devote himself to the project. For a few years the three partners tinkered with their product, got trained in cheesemaking techniques, enlisted the help of cheese consultants, and, more importantly, practised their new passion, acquiring most of their current knowledge by trial and error.
Today the dairy sells farm cheeses made with raw organic milk from cows, goats and ewes. The cow milk comes from the AACAT farm’s 30-head Swiss Brown herd, and the goat and ewe milks are from the farm of a neighbour, a former employee of the creamery, who has hand a dozen goats and as many ewes. The cheesemakers process a little over 100,000 litres of milk each year.
The facility has a 170-foot aerial aqueduct which sends the cow milk directly from the farm to a processing basin in the cheese dairy.
Mr. Trottier and Mrs. Rivard acquired sole ownership of the cheese farm in 2018.