Willem and Maja van den Hoek started That Dutchman’s Cheese Farm in 1980. They now work alongside their daughter Margaretha and son in law Charles, who are highly involved with managing and cheese production. The farm is located in Upper Economy, on the Fundy Shore. If you haven’t been, this place is a must see! Willem spends much of his time working on his Farm, Animal, and Nature Park. Follow the trails through the woodlands, along waterways, and meadows. During your walk you will come across hidden animal enclosures, in which you can purchase feed to give the animals.
That Dutchman’s Cheese Farm has received numerous awards for its cheeses. They are well recognized for their Dragon’s Breath Blue. This family uses local milk and age-old recipes to create their assortment of Gouda cheeses. Their cheeses are shaped into golden wheels with a natural rind, allowing them to breathe and interact with the air surrounding it. You can purchase this family’s cheese at Masstown Market, Noggins Corner Market, and many small shops around Nova Scotia. You can purchase direct from them year-round at the Halifax Seaport and Truro Farmers’ Markets, and of course, at their shop located at the farm. They often sell beef and in season fresh cut flowers at the markets as well.
Willem and Maja didn’t come from a long line of Dutch cheesemakers. They moved to Canada when they were 20 years old. They first landed in British Columbia, where Willem worked on a dairy farm. In 1975, they moved to Nova Scotia. When the couple decided to start making cheese, they traveled back to Europe where they lived and worked alongside a cheesemaker for some time. With their skills and newly acquired knowledge from this experience they brought a little bit of the European and Dutch culture back to Nova Scotia with them. In their store you will also find an assortment of Dutch treats and gifts.”