Kris transformed failed cheesemaking business Woodside Cheese Wrights into a thriving business – now one of the most respected artisan cheese producers in the country.
She and her passionate team produce a range of quality goat and cow milk products, sold nationally, and have won a string of awards nationally and overseas.
I learnt the art of cheesemaking mainly through trial and error. It required courage, planning, patience, persistence and passion.
Before I bought the cheese business, I was consulting in business planning, strategic planning and marketing.
I was never going to be a cheesemaker; I was going to be a manager. But when I had to help out one day when we were short-staffed, I fell in love with the process – and it turned out to be the beginning of my somewhat accidental career.
I can’t begin to describe how difficult it is to make cheese well, consistently. So I took myself off to Italy, France and the UK, where I was inspired, but also came to realise how little I knew. In 2004 I set up CheeseSA to raise the bar, and so that we cheesemakers could learn and collaborate through workshop-style training.
I wanted to be an extraordinary cheesemaker, with ‘uncommon offerings’. So I travelled overseas again and returned much richer in knowledge and inspiration. It would shape the things to come.
I love the creativity of cheesemaking. I don’t set any boundaries; I’m that kind of creature.
I don’t want to copy anybody. I love creating new and exciting products, thoughts and ideas.
My smartest move was to take the business on a journey that would be about quality, not quantity; about my ‘uncommon offerings’. That was key for me.
In South Australia, there’s so much opportunity in food and wine tourism. We’re riding that wave beautifully at the moment – and there’s much more to come.
Quote: "I’ve learned that you really need to have courage to be an innovator and an entrepreneur. You need to take risks and ignore the skeptics."