Sylvan Star Cheese Ltd.
When we, the Schalkwijk family (myself, my wife Janneke, and my son Jeroen), wanted to start a farm with more space and more future, we decided to take a look in Canada. As farmers, we liked Alberta. In 1995, we found a nice place between Red Deer and Sylvan Lake, where we settled and started our own dairy farm with a herd of Holsteins and adapted our names to English (John, Jannie and Jerome). When we had a hard time finding a good piece of cheese in Canada, I decided to go back to an old skill: making good Gouda. I have a long history of Gouda making, being a cheese maker in Holland for 30 years and learning from my mother whom also made Gouda.
In 1999, we ordered equipment from Holland and started Sylvan Star Cheese. Today, ten years later. Sylvan Star Cheese is renowned for its farm made Gouda. We have won numerous Canadian awards as #1 Gouda and Extra Aged Gouda. The Extra Aged Gouda, also known as 'Grizzly' because of its bite and power, is ranked #4 in the world. I seem to have followed in my mother's footsteps, as in 1952 she won first prize in Holland with her Gouda, for which she received a prize from Princess Wilhelmina from Holland. Today, our son Jeroen runs the dairy farm with a herd of about 140 Holsteins. Jan and Janneke are devoted to making between 30,000 to 40,000 kilograms of cheese a year. Besides the Gouda, with and without spices, Sylvan Star Cheese also makes a beautiful Gruyere and Edam.
We have a very nice new store at our cheese farm too with lots of cheese made by us, cheese from all over the world and lots of (local) gourmet foods. Our store is open 5 days a week, Tuesday through Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.