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Schoch Dairy

Family bottles success despite being one of the last dairies in Monterey County


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If you've ever driven south on Highway 101 from the Bay Area toward Monterey, you may have noticed the barn that says Schoch Dairy and wondered if it was just a relic from a bygone era. In fact, it is a working dairy, one of only two remaining in the area.

Brothers Beau, Ty and Seth Schoch, along with their dad, John, represent the third and second generations of Schochs at the helm of the business started by brothers Adolph and Ernest Schoch. The Swiss-born men joined hundreds of other dairy farmers in the Salinas Valley in the 1940s, where rich soil and a coastal climate provided ideal conditions for grazing and milk production.

Over the years, crops replaced cows and now Schoch Dairy stands nearly alone. Milking fewer than 100 cows today, the family has held true to its commitment of "quality over quantity." And while the farm hasn't changed much, what the family does has changed quite a bit. Beau, Ty and Seth all brought their marketing knowledge back from college to reinvent the business. Instead of sending their milk to a co-op, they now make their own dairy products. Just like a Swiss watch, the process runs like a well-oiled machine: Seth feeds the cows, John milks them, and Beau and Ty make the cheese.

The Schochs produce several types of cheese, including a Gouda and a Swiss. They also have the distinction of being the only ones in Monterey County still making the variety invented there: Monterey Jack. And as if making cheese weren't enough, now they're bottling their own line of milk and Swiss-style yogurt.

Putting a face and name on the products they've spent generations producing is the type of success this family hopes to bottle now and into the future. For more information about the Schoch Family Farmstead, visit http://schochfamilyfarm.com/cheese.


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