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Festivals

Stonetown Cheese has been involved in local Ontario festivals, primarily the Wellesley Apple Butter and Cheese Festival.

Our involvement started from a conversation at a baseball tournament. Dad was an avid support of the Conroy Abottoirs, a men’s fastball team (the team was originally sponsored by the Conroy Butcher but they thought calling the team the Conroy Butchers would be a bit too aggressive to the other teams).  At the baseball tournament they were having a beer with the other team and Mr. Krantz commented to Dad that they were starting a new festival in Wellesley to celebrate the apple harvest and support the local Wellesley Apple Butter company.  They needed some vendors to support the Cheese side of the company.  And that was the start of the over 20 years participation in the Wellesley Apple Butter and Cheese Festival.

It became a father and son tradition and I always looked forward to the last Saturday in September when the festival occurred.

We worked hard preparing for it – bagging hundreds of bags of cheese curds, bringing  in cheese especially favoured by the patrons such as the rather pungent Limburger cheese.  It was busy day and we would get to know customers that would come back year after year.

Sadly, as Dad started to wind down the business to enjoy his retirement years and I was busy with a young family and a career elsewhere, we decided to put on participation on hold in 2008.    But we still have the memories.  And who knows, Stonetown Cheese may participate again someday.

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How Stonetown Cheese Started

Stonetown Cheese has evolved many times over the years as business and personal circumstances have changed.

Jack Hearn (my Father) started Stonetown Cheese in 1980 after he left Leslie Cheese House in Stratford.   He had established many strong relationships during his years working in delivery and sales for the company.  When he left, many of the customers wanted to stay with him.  Paul Smith Cheese in the London Market was especially instrumental in Dad’s decision to start up his own company in the cheese distributorship and retail business.

Originally, the business bought local cheese from the various small cheese factories and companies in southern Ontario and also brought in imported cheese through food importers in Toronto.  He rebranded the local cheese under the Stonetown Cheese label and distributed to grocery stores, cheese shops, butcher shops, farmers markets as well as selling the cheese through the home retail cheese shop.