Nestled on the banks of the Klein river, surrounded by lush green hills and mountains, lies Klein River Cheese, a small family run cheesery, offering a range of exceptional, high quality, South African cheeses. This is also the home of Riaan & Shelley Lourens who run Klein River Cheese with the help of their daughter, Sandy and a longstanding team of committed employees.
The farm offers a special outing for visitors who can taste and purchase cheese as well as a variety of gourmet products in The Cheese Shop; enjoy a delicious picnic on the banks of the river; all while the children take pleasure in the extensive playground or pet and feed the many farm animals.
Kleinrivierskloof farm was originally bought in 1971 by Riaan’s father Willem Lourens and was used as the dairy division of his farming business. Riaan inherited the farm from his father and shortly after his marriage to Shelley they decided to join the family business and take up residence on Kleinrivierskloof.
A year later they decided to bottle their milk. During this time they slowly nurtured and built up their herd of Friesland cows and were later able to supply the surrounding areas with fresh milk and cream. However over the years the milk prices fluctuated and Riaan and Shelley started looking at an alternative use for the milk. They enlisted the help of a friend, cheese connoisseur Ken Borcherd; together they studied the market and decided that South Africa lacked a strong flavoured hard cheese. Thus in 1995 they used their surplus milk and started experimenting with cheese.
First, a Swiss/German cheese maker helped to set up the factory. He later taught local blue cheese maker, Jacko van Beulen to make the unique South African style Gruyere cheese. In the following years the cheeses as well as the cheese maker, won numerous awards and the cheese factory grew.
Shortly after starting to produce cheese a small shop was built. Here the public were invited to taste and buy the cheeses. This soon became very popular and had to be expanded to accommodate the many guests who visited. Later the calf shed was renovated into a restaurant/coffee shop where, during the summer months, picnic lunches are served.
At present a combination of Jersey (75%), Friesland and Ayrshire milk is used to produce the 12 cheeses in the range. The milk is collected from 3 neighbouring farms. The herds are all reared on the fertile pastures of the valley, by dedicated local farmers.
The cheeses are currently sold at Pick n Pay; Woolworths; Checkers; Spar; Fruit & Veg; speciality stores/delis throughout South Africa as well as directly from the Cheese Shop on the farm. The range is also exported to Namibia and available at Spar stores. Klein River Cheese is located just 7km outside Stanford, along Route 326, in the heart of the fertile Klein River valley, Western Cape, South Africa.