CORONAVIRUS

Utah Cheesemaker Helps Families During Pandemic With Farmers’ Excess Dairy

Apr 28, 2020, 8:51 PM | Updated: Jun 13, 2022, 4:21 pm

UINTAH, Utah – It is not often when someone can solve three problems all at once. Britton Welsh had one of those ideas when he saw images of dairies dumping milk down the drain.

The farmers could not sell the milk their cows were producing because so many customers like restaurants and schools had to shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic.

At the same time, he was trying to figure out how to keep his 30 employees busy as his business, Beehive Cheese, was also losing business.

He turned to the public, asking for donations so he could buy some of that milk before it went to waste and so his employees could make cheese for the needy.

Welsh called it Project Promontory. Promontory is his cheddar cheese brand.

For small businesses, the employees can be like family. In this case, many of them are.

Britton Welsh, Beehive Cheese President.

“We have about 30 employees and about half of them are related to me. It’s a textbook family business,” Welsh said. “The idea that a small, minuscule virus would be turning the world upside down, caught us totally off guard.”

This is where Project Promontory came in. People donate, the folks at Beehive buy some of that milk that could be dumped and his employees keep working as the cheese goes to the Utah Food Bank.

“Between us listening to the dairy farmers and listening to the people that sincerely need food right now, this is what we feel the best way to help is,” Welsh said.

Project Promontory was posted online with the goal of raising $12,000. The public responded big and creamed that goal.

“Having said that now, I think the community has a vision for what we’re doing,” Welsh explained. His project is still churning.

As long as donations keep coming,  Welsh said the biggest question will be, where to donate next?

The Utah Food Bank has met its quota of cheese for now.

“It’s awesome that the community is supporting us and supporting what we stand for,” Welsh told KSL.

With that first goal met, Beehive cheese was able to make about 4,000 pounds of cheese that is going to more than 2,000 families.

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Utah Cheesemaker Helps Families During Pandemic With Farmers’ Excess Dairy