The Henri Willig Group, as cheese maker, brings honest and distinctive quality products to the consumer and is a professional, sustainable partner for its customers, employees and suppliers, with respect for people, animals and nature.
Discover the secret behind our great cheese:
Henri Willig, the founder of Henri Willig Cheese and the only son in a family of five, was raised amongst the cows on dairy farm “De Jacobs Hoeve”. After Henri attended primary agricultural school he took over the family farm in 1974. Together with his wife Riet the enterprising couple quickly played with the idea of making their own cheese. They took a course in cheese making and discovered the secret of making great cheese, for they learnt, that to make great cheese you need to start with happy, healthy animals.
The organic dairy farm is located in the fertile agricultural land of North Holland. These pastures are home to many different forms of flora and fauna. With important plants such as the white clover, yarrow, goose grass and dandelions that are not only tasty but have many healthy benefits for our cows. For this reason we do not use any chemical fertilizers or pesticides on our fields, and as such our farm is seen as an inspiration for many of our farming partners. Our cows are outside at least 180 days of the year with a minimum of 12 hours a day. In this way they show natural behavior and feel as comfortable as possible, thus avoiding diseases and providing the best milk possible.
Henri Willig grew up in Katwoude. His parents ran a dairy farm there. As the only son in a family of five, Henri attended the primary agricultural school. In 1974 he took over his father's farm, together with his wife Riet. The enterprising farmer quickly played with the idea of making his own cheese. He took a course in cheese making and became so skilled at it that he decided to produce cheese on his own farm. His passion did not go unnoticed. The cheese farm, located in the beautiful Waterland polder landscape, soon became an attraction for foreign tourists.
What began as a new challenge for Henri Willig's farming business grew into a thriving cheese factory and top destination for cheese lovers. Henri Willig exports its special cheeses to more than 35 countries. In addition, Henri Willig receives millions of visitors each year in his own stores and cheese farms.
At the farm, in our brand new barn, you will be able to meet our Jersey Cows. Although we do use the milk from other cow breeds to produce cheese, Jersey cow milk is a fantastic for making delicious cheese as it is higher in fat and protein. This breed of cow is also better when considering sustainability, since they produce more milk with less food needed whilst producing significantly less manure.