Great Lakes Cheese understands the power of provolone, the charm
of cheddar, and the goodness of gruyere. Each year the company
makes about 165 million pounds of cheese. The cheesemaker
distributes natural and processed cheeses and cheese spreads,
including varieties such as cheddar, Colby, Swiss, mozzarella,
and provolone. It also makes the premium Adams Reserve New
York Cheddar. Great Lakes Cheese packages shredded, chunk, and
sliced cheese for deli, bulk, and foodservice sale under the Great
Lakes, Adams Reserve, and private-label brands. Chairman Hans
Epprecht, a Swiss immigrant, founded the firm in 1958 as a
Cleveland bulk-cheese distributor. Epprecht (80%) and Great Lakes
employees (20%) own the company.
Based in Hiram, Ohio, Great Lakes Cheese operates nine
facilities across three states, including locations in Fillmore,
Utah; Plymouth, Wausau, Seymour, and La Crosse, Wisconsin; and
Adams and Cuba, New York.
Great Lakes Cheese distributes its products, which are sold
in deli and dairy cases, throughout the US.
Its dairy line includes natural and processed cheeses the likes
of American Deluxe, cheese food, cheese spread, cheese product, 2%,
and fat free.
The company's deli items include provolones, mozarellas, and
cheddars, along with Colby, Swiss, and Jack. Great Lakes imports
cheese including havarti, blue, fontina from Denmark, gouda from
Holland, emmentaler and gruyere from Switzerland, and jarlsberg
from Norway. Its bulk products include blue, boursin, feta, goat,
gorgonzola, grated Italian, and smoked cheeses.
The Great Lakes Cheese foodservice line spans traditional
comfort foods to exotic ethnic dishes and a full line of bulk and
portion-control cream cheese.
Sales and Marketing
The cheese maker offers private labeling services to other
companies. It sells its products nationwide for sale in deli and
dairy cases, as well as to foodservice operators.
Customers include grocers, club stores, supercenters, restaurant
chains, and foodservice distributors.
Great Lakes Cheese generates about $2.6 billion in annual
Already operating in Wisconsin, Ohio, and New York, Great Lakes
Cheese extended its reach in fall 2013 by opening a 330,000-sq.-ft.
manufacturing facility in Manchester, Tennessee. The effort
involved a $100 million investment.