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Kari Thompson and Laura Mogck prepare an order at Dimock Cheese's original Main Street location. (Ellen Bardash / Forum News Service)

Grate news: New location, $1 million expansion for Dimock Cheese

DIMOCK, S.D. -- After making and selling its products in the same location for 87 years, Dimock Cheese is breaking ground on a new facility Thursday.

“It’s the first and oldest handmade, artisan cheese-making company in South Dakota, and we’re excited to have the opportunity to take and expand that brand,” said Denny Everson, one of the company’s co-owners, who added that this expansion is “way bigger” than anything Dimock Cheese has done before.

The project is expected to cost nearly $1 million and should be completed at some point during this winter, owners said.

In an effort to make the business easier to find and more convenient for customers old and new, the new location, set to be built at the corner of Highway 37 and West First Street, will house the company’s new office headquarters, a larger packaging and labeling room, a larger refrigeration space and a retail store, just a half-mile drive from the current location.

The cheese will continue to be processed at the Main Street location, but all other aspects of the business will be transferred to the new facility, which will be completed in two phases.

The first phase will be the initial 8,000 square feet of the new building, which will house the retail store, office, cooler and packaging center. The second phase, for which co-owner Drew Muntefering said a timeline has not been established, will be an additional 10,000-square-foot manufacturing center added on to the building.

Dimock Cheese currently has about 20 employees, half of whom are full-time, with additional seasonal workers. Everson said he expects that with the business moving to the highway, where it will be visible to anyone driving through, business will increase by up to 30 percent. He plans to hire at least two more full-time employees and give workers more hours to account for this.

The company has done all aspects of its business in the same location since it first opened during the Great Depression.

Relocating and opening a larger facility have been goals for the company’s four co-owners since they purchased the company in 2015. Around that time, the company officially changed its name from Dimock Dairy to Dimock Cheese, although Muntefering said the two names are still often used interchangeably.

When choosing a site for the new facility, the owners knew they wanted to stay local. In addition to Dimock Cheese having been based in Dimock since it was founded, the company uses milk from local farms to make its products.

“The brand speaks for itself. We certainly aren’t going to leave Dimock and go to another location,” Everson said. “When we purchased the company, we promised that to the citizens of that small town. But at the same time, we’re allowing ourselves to relocate to a place that’s way more convenient and more visible.”

Thursday’s groundbreaking ceremony will be held at 3 p.m. at the new location, directly across from Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church, and it is open to the public.

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