Woolwich Dairy – From the Azores to Orangeville
It’s a long way from the Azores archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean to Dufferin County in Ontario but that’s where you find the roots of the Woolwich Dairy in Orangeville. Tony Dutra’s mother used to make cheese for the Azorean market more than 50 years ago. Some time after the Dutra family immigrated to Toronto, they bought a farm in East Luther.
“It was a Noah’s Ark farm,” said Tony, “two of every animal. Two goats became many and mom started making cheese again.”
The Time was Right for Goats’ Milk Cheese
Tony’s wife Olga thought they should start selling the cheese and their first factory in 1985 was less than 500 square feet in Grand Valley, with just the three of them. Today, they have a head office and factory in Orangeville that encompasses 40,000 square feet, another in Quebec and a third in Lancaster Wisconsin, with a total of 155 employees. Woolwich Dairy in Orangeville brings goats’ milk from farms as far off as Hagersville north to Orillia and as far east as Kingston.
Dufferin County has the Best of Everything
“We fell in love with the whole area,” said Tony, “and when the time came to build a new facility, we looked around and found what we needed right here.” For Woolwich Dairy, Orangeville’s industrial land “has the full package, right in the centre of it all.” The industrial land was well priced, it was close to Highway 10 to make shipping easier and it’s a short trip to the major centres of Toronto, Brampton and Mississauga.
A Place for People, too
When you’re hiring people you want to make sure they have a good place to live. “You want them to have schools, day care, hospital, family neighbourhoods,” said Tony, “everything they need for a good quality of life.” It’s all right here.