The first Empire Cheese Factory was built in the late 1870s on the farm of John Haig who was the first cheesemaker. The second cheese factory was built just to the east of the present factory.
In the fall of 1952 the Kimberley Cheese Factory burned and in 1953 Empire and Kimberley amalgamated forming the current Empire Cheese & Butter Co-op. That same year, the current cheese factory was built.
Today, the Empire Cheese Co-op is the only cheese manufacturing plant operating in Northumberland County and the first one east of Toronto!
Empire Cheese is owned by local dairy farmers who hold an election each year to vote in a Board of Directors to run the factory.
At Empire, our cheese is made in the traditional way in open-style vats which in our opinion gives the cheese and curd a better flavour. We use no additives to boost production and there are no flavours added to our Cheddar. It is all natural, with no preservatives added.
The cheese is vacuum-packed in our modern facilities to preserve the special flavour. A true mix of tradition and modern technology to give our customers the best product possible.