Crafting Cheese Perfection: The Art of Floridia's Cheese Makers

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In the charming suburb of Thomastown, Melbourne, Floridia Cheese unfolds a saga of cheese-making mastery. This article delves into the captivating journey of the Montalto family, tracing their roots from Sicily to the creation of Australia's preeminent traditional Italian cheese, emphasising the rich tapestry of tradition, passion, and unwavering commitment to quality.

The Montalto Legacy

Passing the Torch

Mauro Montalto, the patriarch of the Montalto family, carried with him from Sicily not merely familial ties but a profound heritage of self-sufficiency and the artistry of cheese making. The legacy seamlessly transitioned through generations, with Tommaso and wife Angela taking up the mantle, followed by the 3rd Generation of Montalto's upholding the family's revered tradition.

Tommaso and Angela: A Continuation of Tradition

Tommaso and Angela's stewardship marked a pivotal era as they embraced the responsibility of preserving and advancing the cheese-making legacy. The Montalto family's dedication to crafting exceptional cheeses only deepened under their watchful eyes, ensuring the perpetuation of a tradition that originated in the sun-soaked hills of Sicily.

The Humble Beginnings

From Sicily to Melbourne

The narrative unfolds in 1952 when Mauro, Carmela, and their three sons embark on a transformative journey from Sicily to Australia. Carrying with them the essence of Italian culture and generational expertise in cheese making, the Montalto family found themselves immersed in a new cultural environment. Yet, the cheese-making skills passed down through the generations became a beacon, guiding them through the unfamiliar.

A Backyard Start

Mauro's cheese-making journey commenced with the creation of traditional Ricotta over a crackling wood fire in his backyard, a labour of love for his three sons. What began as a familial pursuit soon evolved into a communal one, with Mauro and Carmela extending their cheese-making skills to neighbours, friends, and local groceries. Unbeknownst to them, these humble beginnings would burgeon into one of Australia's most esteemed cheese-manufacturing businesses.

Mauro and Carmela: Pioneers of Flavour

Guided by necessity and fuelled by passion, Mauro and Carmela honed their cheese-making skills to support their family. The result was not merely sustenance, but the birth of flavours that would later define Floridia Cheese. Their determination and dedication set the stage for a remarkable journey.

Flourishing Success

Foundation in Bundoora

The demand for the Montalto family's traditional Italian-style cheese burgeoned, so that by 1955, Mauro acquired a small factory in Bundoora. This acquisition laid the foundations for what would soon be known as Floridia Cheese, a namesake derived from Mauro's birthplace in Sicily. The success story continued, prompting another move in 1998 to a larger commercial site in the Melbourne suburb of Thomastown.

Commitment to Tradition

Floridia Cheese's triumph isn't a tale of luck; it's a narrative woven with threads of commitment to time-honoured methods. Fuelled by a passion ingrained in a family deeply rooted in cheese-making history, the Montalto family's determination propelled Floridia Cheese to the forefront of the industry. It stands as a benchmark for consistency and quality in Italian cheese products.

The Art of Cheese Making

The meticulous art of cheese making is at the core of Floridia Cheese's success. Every step, from the selection of the finest ingredients to the careful ageing process, is a testament to the dedication and craftsmanship that goes into creating the perfect block of cheese. The hands that craft these cheeses carry the wisdom of generations, ensuring a taste that transcends time.

A Range of Flavours

"Floridia Cheese isn't just a manufacturer; it's a curator of flavours. The diverse range of cheeses, each with its unique flavour profile, reflects the expertise passed down through generations. From Burrata's creamy richness to Mozzarella's tangy freshness, every bite encapsulates a story of tradition and expertise. The Burrata cheese, with its creamy richness, adds a distinctive touch. The Hard Cheeses, such as Pecorino, showcase the depth of flavours that can only be achieved through time-honoured methods.

Consistency and Quality

Floridia Cheese's commitment to maintaining the highest standards of consistency and quality has earned it the reputation of Australia's most respected traditional Italian cheese manufacturer. The delicate balance between tradition and innovation ensures that each cheese that leaves Floridia's production line is a testament to excellence.


In the heart of Thomastown, Floridia Cheese stands as more than a mere manufacturer; it's a guardian of tradition, a purveyor of flavours, and a symbol of the enduring legacy of the Montalto family. From Sicilian roots to Australian eminence, the journey of Floridia Cheese is a celebration of the art and dedication that goes into every block of cheese.

Head office & Factory outlet:

Floridia Cheese Pty Ltd
327 Settlement Road 
Thomastown 3074 
Victoria, Australia

Good Friday- Closed
Easter Saturday open 8am to 1pm
Easter Sunday – Closed
Easter Monday – Closed

Factory outlet hours:

Mon to Fri 7.30am - 4.00pm
Sat Closed
Sun 8.00am - 1.00pm

Christmas Day: Closed
Boxing Day: Closed
New Years Day: Closed

Closed Sundays in the month of January

For all business and general enquiries:
+61 3 9464 2600
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