Northwoods Cheese Company is a small, Wisconsin-based cheese company run by Derek and Angela Thielke. Northwoods produces high-quality, craft cheeses in TONS of different varieties, from cheddars to swiss to gouda to jack. . . you name it.
One of the most amazing parts of the Northwoods Cheese Company is their mission to provide employment to persons with disabilities. Per their website,
“Northwoods Cheese Company has created a partnership with Greenco Industries. This organization coordinates the efforts of Sheltered Workshops employing persons with disabilities throughout Wisconsin. Our mutual goal is to provide full and meaningful employment for persons with disabilities. We have assisted Greenco Industries in designing a Holiday Gift Program. This program combines baskets and cutting boards with cheese and other food items. These components are assembled into gift products at the workshops.
Our goal is to perfect this “Wisconsin Model” program utilizing Sheltered Workshops to create everyday household products. Northwoods Cheese Company plans to take this unprecedented, private industry initiative to every state in the nation and every nation in the world. Your support of this program enables persons with disabilities to achieve dignity through work and contribute back to the community.” — Northwoods Cheese Company
I met Derek and ran into Northwoods Cheese when preparing for the John Muir Trail back in 2017. I wanted a cheese option that would stay even on trail, without refrigeration. I knew that most hikers just bought huge blocks of sharp cheeses from the grocery store, but I wanted something slightly different:
- A one-serving size of cheese that I could have per meal. I did not want to open up a large block of cheese, only for it to get slimy and gross after days.
- Variety. For long backpacking trips, I knew the importance of variety. If your food bores you, you won’t eat it, and that’s a problem when you are burning thousands of calories a day.
On backpacking and mountaineering trips, I use the Northwoods 2 oz. and 1 oz. cheeses. They are shelf-stable and do not need refrigeration, and come in a WONDERFUL variety of flavors:
- Wisconsin Cheddar
- Wisconsin Hot Pepper
- Smoked Roasted Garlic
- Smoked Gouda (MY FAVORITE)
- Cranberry Cheddar
- Garden Vegetable
- Wisconsin Chipotle Cheddar
- Tomato and Basil
You can use the code “EngineeredForAdventure” at checkout for 20% off. Just input the code into the secondary address line.