Cravings Blog

Dakin Dairy Farms turns excess milk into profit

When life gives you extra milk, make cheese with it.

Dakin Dairy Farms, 30771 Betts Road, Myakka City, embraced this motto about six months ago when it hired cheesemaker Allen Brassler, who has 30 years of experience in the craft of turning milk products into cheese.

“We have a high demand for cream,” Brassler said Wednesday as he stirred cheese curds in a bath of liquid whey to make sure the curds didn’t clump together too much. “And that generated lots of skim milk.”

Brassler was brought on to utilize excess milk and test making different types of cheeses, including mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan and Asiago.

“I’m really proud of our fresh mozzarella,” Dakin’s account executive Aaron Loge said.

He’s tasked with working with distributors to sell Dakin’s cheese all over Florida. Dakin imports cultures from Naples, Italy, to make the mozzarella cheese.

Jerry Dakin, who owns the dairy farm with his wife Karen, is proud of Brassler and the entire cheese-making operation.

“Cheese is a masterpiece,” Jerry Dakin said.

The Dakins started making cheese not only to use the farm’s byproducts but also to serve consumer demand.

“It’s local and the money stays in the community,” Jerry Dakin said. “Local is more important than organic. People want to buy local.”

Brassler said there isn’t a lot of cheese produced in Florida, but the segment of the dairy industry is growing. As of June 30, 2015, Florida had eight cheese plants and 127 dairy farms, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

On Wednesday, Brassler was taking his first spin at making Parmesan cheese with skim milk. He had three different batches going; each at a different temperature, to see which would produce the best texture and taste. If a batch doesn’t work out, it’s no loss to the farm because the milk would have been tossed out anyway, he said.

Dakin Dairy also works with another company, Florida Bio Foods, to make cheese. Alexis Ferrer is president of the company and makes three types of Spanish cheese at Dakin: palmita, a semi-soft white cheese and queso de mano.

Ferrer has a background in chemical engineering, chemistry and microbiology, which he said makes an “excellent background to understand” the process of making cheese. Brassler said with Ferrer’s scientific background and his years of practical experience in the field, the two work well together.

“That’s the great thing about having two different cheese makers,” Brassler said. “You take the same milk and have a different outcome.”

Loge is working with distributors to get Dakin’s cheese out to stores all over Florida. Dakin Dairy Farms’ milk and cheese can be found in Bradenton at the Chop Shop, 5906 Manatee Ave. W.

To find more area locations, visit dakindairyfarms.com/products/store-locator-fl.php.

For distributors interested in Dakin Dairy’s products, call Loge at 941-962-6887.

Janelle O’Dea: 941-745-7095, @jayohday

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