In the heart of Thomastown, Melbourne, a cheese factory stands as a testament to tradition, family, and the pursuit of excellence. Floridia Cheese, an Australian-owned treasure, weaves a captivating tale of how a humble backyard endeavour blossomed into a thriving business, crafting some of the finest Italian-style cheeses. Join us on this flavourful journey through history and dairy as we explore the remarkable evolution of Floridia Cheese.
The story of Floridia Cheese begins with the Montalto family, who emigrated from Sicily to Australia in 1952. Bringing with them a deep-rooted appreciation for self-sufficiency and the essence of Italian culture, the Montaltos laid the foundation for a remarkable legacy.
The homeland of Floridia, steeped in a rich history of cheese making thanks to its sunny climate and fertile soil, had a tradition that transcended generations. This tradition would soon find a new home in the Montalto family, shaping their destiny in unexpected ways.
Mauro Montalto, along with his devoted wife Carmela, embarked on a journey that would forever change their lives. Starting with a wood fire in their backyard, Mauro crafted traditional ricotta cheese for their three sons. What began as a simple act of love soon extended to their neighbours, friends, and the local continental grocery.
The secret to their success lay in their ability to transform leftover whey, a byproduct of cheese making, into the finest ricotta. Sweet, smooth, and undeniably delicious, this ricotta was a testament to their skill and dedication. The Montaltos had unwittingly set the stage for the birth of Floridia Cheese.
As the demand for their authentic Italian-style cheese continued to surge, Mauro Montalto decided to take the next big step. In 1955, he purchased a small factory in Bundoora, laying the foundation for what would become Floridia Cheese. The name itself, a tribute to Mauro's birthplace in Sicily, held the promise of a brighter future.
The success of the business was nothing short of astounding. With each passing year, the reputation of Floridia Cheese spread far and wide. By 1998, the need for more significant production facilities led to another milestone - establishing a larger commercial site in the Melbourne suburb of Thomastown.
Today, Floridia Cheese stands as a testament to the Montalto family's unwavering commitment to quality and tradition. Their cheeses, including the exquisite Floridia Stracciatella Cheese, continue to delight palates around the world. Made from delicate mozzarella curd shreds and blended with fresh cream, Stracciatella offers a delightful blend of stringy curd and cream, perfect for spreading on your favourite bread or enhancing Italian dishes and pasta sauces.
The story of Floridia Cheese is a reminder that the most remarkable journeys often start in the most unexpected places. From a backyard in North Melbourne to the world stage, this family-owned business has become a symbol of excellence and a testament to the power of tradition.
In the heart of Melbourne's Thomastown, Floridia Cheese stands as a living testament to the power of tradition, family, and dedication. From their humble beginnings crafting ricotta in a backyard to becoming one of Australia's premier cheese manufacturers, the Montalto family's journey is a story of determination and passion. Their commitment to crafting authentic Italian-style cheese has made Floridia Cheese a beloved household name, bringing a taste of Italy to Australian tables and beyond.