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Turlock employees make award-winning cheese

POSTED April 23, 2010 11:22 p.m.
Local employees of Karoun Dairies, Inc. have a lot to be proud of lately, as three of the company’s specialty cheeses won awards at an April international competition.
“This is the result of the education, hard work and passion from the employees in Turlock,” said Rostom Baghdassarian, Karoun Dairies, Inc. chief operating officer.
Karoun Dairies, Inc., a Los Angeles-based company, won three medals at the 2010 World Championship Cheese Contest in April. All of Karoun's award-winning dairy products are manufactured in the company's only plant located in Turlock.
“All the action is in Turlock,” Baghdassarian said.
The company started their successful journey in the Turlock area in 1999, after the company grew an interest in making their cheese from scratch, he said. Even though the main distribution center is based in Los Angeles, the company wanted to create good cheese straight from the source, which led them to Turlock.
“The part of success for great cheese comes from a good milk source,” Baghdassarian said.
Karoun Dairies, Inc. started in 1992, but at the time they focused on their specialty cheese, a process that included purchasing cheese from other distributors and then melting it down to create their own cheese, he said. Currently, their specialty is braided cheese.
Now, with more focus on their home-made cheese, the Turlock plant has grown to about 100 employees who make over 65 different types of dairy products including 35 different types of cheese and other types of yogurt. The manufacturing plant is located in the 100 block of Kilroy Road.
The award-winning cheese is among the 35 different types of cheese made in Turlock. The cheese that recently won international recognition were Mykonos creamy feta in the Feta category, panela in the Quesos Frescos category and the basket feta with sun dried tomato and thyme in the Flavored Feta category.
In the 2010 World Championship Cheese Contest, there were over 2,300 entries from 20 countries and 30 states. There were a total of 77 gold medals given out for cheeses made from cow, goat and sheep milk.
“As a family business that is living the American Dream, all of us at Karoun Dairies take great pride in creating and manufacturing the most delicious, best quality natural cheeses on the market,” Baghdassarian said.  
These are the company's first awards for the year, but they are proud owners of over 83 awards since the opening of Karoun Dairies, Inc.
Turlockers can purchase Karoun Dairies award-winning cheese, made right here in Turlock, in Savemart and Raley's grocery stores.
To contact Maegan Martens, e-mail mmartens@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.


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