Since 1988, after pursuing a dream of owning a dairy operation in the United States, the Wakker family has built a specialty cheese business based on strong family traditions, located in the heart of a small town, Kewaunee, Wisconsin. The dream of selling their hand-crafted cheese arose from a recollection of their Grandparents selling their own high-quality, right from the farm, dairy products door to door.
Johannes Wakker and his family, wife Olga, daughter Iullia and son-in-law Sergii Aleksieiev originally moved to Green County in Wisconsin to start the small dairy operation. In 1995, they moved to Kewaunee to be able to keep up with the changing dairy industry. Later on, in the Fall of 2015, the Wakkers formulated Wakker’s Creamy, a Dutch-style Gouda, with a distinct Wisconsin character.
The Gouda Cheese, a very common cheese in Holland, is made with raw Jersey Holstein milk from their own farm and is ripened on wooden planks, just like it is done today on Dutch farmsteads. Wakker Cheese has several different types of Gouda Cheese; Creamy Young Gouda, Creamy Mild Gouda, Creamy Aged Gouda, Cream Chipotle Gouda, and Cream Cumin Gouda. According to Sergii, one of the owners, their unique cheese is sold in supermarkets all over Wisconsin. They have dreams of expanding out of Wisconsin by the Fall of 2022, as they are currently working on securing contracts.
Due to the increased demand for Gouda Cheese, the family business began searching for cheese-cutting equipment to process and package the cheese quicker. Additionally, when selling to supermarkets, the product is required to have exact proportions or measurements, therefore, a more accurate technique of cutting cheese was needed to continue to source outside Wakker Cheese.
The research began for a solution to this business challenge, and the GenMac name surfaced at the top. Being a local company was also significant in the decision to use GenMac, as the Wakker family believes in keeping business local. Within hours after connecting with Greg at GenMac, the purchasing process began. Ultimately, the cheese cutting equipment that was chosen was the 3005 LD Tu-Way, with a few modifications to make it work for the type of characteristics of the Gouda cheese Wakker produces.
With the GenMac Tu-Way, Wakker Cheese is able to cut/package one 40 lb block of cheese in 20 minutes compared to one hour of hand cutting. It takes approximately one minute to slice the cheese with the machine.
When asked in an interview, if GenMac was a good company to work with, Aleksieiev’s response was, “They are awesome people. Very easy to work with. Always answering calls and emails. They went above and beyond what was required. It was a pleasure working with them.” View the interview here.
GenMac, a division of 5 Point Fabrication, has been in business since 1949, finding solutions, creating, selling, and delivering durable, reliable, cheese and meat cutters. For more information on GenMac equipment, visit the website, www.genmac.com.