How does Sylvan Star Cheese make its award-winning gouda? Tour the cheesemaking facility and see for yourself!
New owners Jennifer and Art Snoek offer tours of the entire cheesemaking process at 39008 Range Road 10, just off of Hwy 11A to the east of Sylvan Lake. Tours must be booked in advance by phone (403-340-1560), and are available Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“The store is open Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but we ask that people phone ahead if they’d like to take a tour, to ensure we have enough time,” Jennifer says.
Tours are $7 for both children and adults and feature a behind-the-scenes video plus a tour of the processing and aging facilities, and complimentary samples of the cheeses made in-house.
“People are often surprised to learn how long the aging process takes — every gouda we make is aged for a minimum two months, and the award-winning Grizzly is aged for 9 years!” Jennifer says.
Most of the large-quantity cheesemaking takes place early in the morning, so the production floor is rarely busting during tours, but that means there’s more opportunity for visitors to get up close and personal with every step of the process. And when you’re done sampling, you can head over to the store to pick up your favourite cheese and other specialty groceries like local meats and imported Dutch products.
Where to find Sylvan Star Cheese
- Wednesdays: Downtown Red Deer Market on Little Gaetz Avenue, 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
- Thursdays: Lacombe Farmers’ Market at Michener Park, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Fridays: Lacombe Farmers’ Market at Michener Park, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.;Sylvan Lake Farmers Market at 5014 Lakeshore Dr. (the old waterslide site), 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
- Saturday mornings: Red Deer Farmers Market at Kinex Arena, 7 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- Saturday afternoons: Bentley Farmers’ Market at the curling rink, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
- Year round: In Edmonton at Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market, Bountiful Farmers’ Market and Downtown Edmonton Market, in Calgary at Calgary Farmers Market, and at the Sylvan Lake farm store, 39008 Range Road 10, just off of Hwy 11A.