From the Netherlands to Wisconsin, USA
Marieke Penterman was born and raised in the Netherlands where she grew up on her parents' 60 cow dairy farm. This is where her passion for dairy cows and dairy farming began. After getting her Bachelor's Degree in Dairy Business, Marieke started a career as a farm inspector.
In the meantime, her future husband, Rolf Penterman, emigrated to Thorp, WI and started a 350 cow dairy farm in May 2002. Thorp, with a vast dairy base and farm-friendly people, was an ideal location. Marieke followed Rolf a year later.
Love for Gouda cheese
Once in the United States, she missed the cheese from back home and began researching how to start her own business. Marieke decided to get her Wisconsin Cheesemaking License. She worked with a local cheesemaker and traveled back to her home country where she trained alongside two different cheesemakers throughout the week. There she learned how to make authentic Dutch Gouda cheese.
US Grand Champion 2013
Just four months after Marieke crafted her first batch of Gouda in November 2006, she captured a gold award at the US Champion Cheese Contest in 2007. Dozens of awards followed including her biggest win thus far, the United States Grand Champion in 2013.
New state-of-the-art facility in Thorp, WI
Since November 2013, Marieke and Rolf Penterman opened a brand new state-of-the-art facility along highway 29 in Thorp, WI. It includes a store and viewing windows to see the farm and cheesemaking from up close. This is where their ultimate dream came true; the opportunity to have a location where they can share their passion for modern family farming and handcrafting the best Marieke Gouda in an open and educational environment. You are always welcome to visit!
Wisconsin Outstanding Young Farmer Award
On January 24th 2015, Marieke won the Wisconsin Outstanding Young Farmer Award. She is the first female to win this Award!
Rolf and Marieke not only grew a prosperous business but also a family; twin daughters, Joyce and Luna (11), son Dean (8), youngest daughter Fenne (7) and youngest son Finn (6).