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Sisters put a new spin on a family business seven generations strong

Down on the farm where more than 60 St. Louis restaurants get cheese.

Greenville, IL

On a country road in Greenville, Illinois, two sisters have put a new twist on a family business that began in 1842.

"The Marcoot family came from Switzerland and brought a jersey calf on the boat with them from Switzerland," explains Amy Marcoot.

The Marcoot's, 7 generations of them, have been milking cows ever since, but these days it's done a little differently.

"We have the robots now to milk the cows," Marcoot says.

And that's not the only thing that's changed.

"It was about 2007 my dad was 55 years old and my mom called to say hey I just wanted to kind of give you a heads up dad is probably going to look at selling the cows in the next five years or so."

That's when Amy and her sister Beth decided to buy the farm.

"My dad said that's fine, but you cannot just milk cows especially as a small farm and actually make a living doing it."

So they studied cheese making with the best and now make 18 varieties.

"So we make fresh mozzarella and cheese curds those are our most popular cheeses," she says.

Amy is the President of Marcoot Jersey Creamery, her sister Beth is in charge of the herd. Together with their small team and two robots they're making delicious cheeses you can find in more than 60 restaurants.

"Our aged cheeses are made in European style molds," Amy Marcoot explains.

They make artisan, farmstead and cave aged cheeses.

"So this cheese right here is our alpine style cheese down this row. But this is a really fun cheese actually Katie's Pizza uses this cheese it's our scamorza."

At any given time there's probably close to 20,000 pounds of cheese on the property.

"We make gouda, havarti, a tipsy cheddar we make that with Schlafly Pale Ale, it's a very popular cheese," she goes on to say.

Each wheel is made with tender loving care, but the mozzarella is a true labor of love.

"I start that cheese at about 2 o'clock in the morning."

It's a cheese that has to be stretched and then molded all of which you can see if you time things just right.

"We have our facility open six days a week for people to come in and watch us make cheese. They can actually see the cows being milked now from floor to ceiling glass walls, so they can watch everything," Marcoot points out.

It's agritourism at it's best. A place rooted in history, but where they're always trying something new.

Marcoot Jersey Creamery is at 526 Dudleyville Road in Greenville, Illinois. It's open everyday, but Sunday. You can call 618-664-1110 or go to http://marcootjerseycreamery.com.

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