Vintage photo of a woman stacking blocks of cheese

65+ Years of Growth

Great Lakes Cheese was founded in 1958 by Swiss immigrant, Hans Epprecht, when he began his neighborhood cheese-delivering business.

Great Lakes Cheese has expanded to a nine-plant operation, spanning six states, and supplying nutritious cheese across the nation for over 65 years. Today, Great Lakes Cheese remains privately owned by the Epprecht Family and over 4,000 dedicated employee-owners.

Our Timeline

A History of Quality and Excellence

Young photos of Hans Epprecht


Hans Epprecht started his store-door delivery business with three values: Hard Work, Honesty, and Integrity

Vintage Great Lakes Cheese logo and articles


The first Great Lakes Cheese packaging facility opened in Newbury, Ohio

Employees gathered in an office, employees working to package cheese, and friends hugging


Hans Epprecht launched the pivotal Profit Sharing Plan for all employees; our ownership culture begins!

Overhead view of Wisconsin and New York cheese factories


Two new plants: Plymouth, WI (’82) and Adams, NY (’84)

Overhead views of three cheese factories in the 1990s


Three new plants: Cuba, NY (’93), La Crosse, WI (’95), and Hiram, OH (’98)

A group of smiling employees


Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) established; now one of the largest in the nation.

Overhead view of Utah and Wisconsin cheese factories


Two new plants: Fillmore, UT (’01), and Wausau, WI (’03)

Overhead view of two cheese production plants


Two new plants: Manchester, TN (’15), and new Wausau, WI (’19) location

Photos of new Hiram, OH corporate office


Doubled the size of our Hiram, Ohio plant and built a new Corporate Headquarters and Customer Collaboration Center

Two overhead views of cheese factories


Two new plants: Abilene, TX and Franklinville, NY

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