At the moment I am making cheese from 16litre batches of raw cow milk. Mostly I am making easy hard cheeses ie) tweaked Fankhauser recipe, Chihuahua, Farmhouse Cheddar, etc. Occasionally I will make some simple blues. All are aged a minimum of 2 months, but usually sell them at 4-6 months.
Really, I have no idea what I should be charging for retail sales to local North Americans; to local hotel restaurants or wholesale (ie to a bakery/deli) – especially keeping in mind one day I would like to hire someone to make or help me with the cheesemaking.
I would dearly love it if you would be able to help me out.
Here are some figures: (US$ converted from local Costa Rican colones)
Raw milk sells for about $1.00/litre from local farmers.
Boxed milked (UHT) sells for about $1.50/l.
Local unaged fresh cheeses (queso fresco or blanco variations) sell for $4.00/kg (2.2lbs)
Local wallyworld sells Costa Rican made goat feta cheese for $30/kg.
Sorry, at the moment cant remember other cheese prices - been only eating my own now for a couple of years LOL.
At the moment I have 3 cows supplying me with milk: a Guernsey, a Jersey and a Simbra. My property supplies me with the pasture, I buy the cow feed, molasses, wormers, etc. Cowfeed is approx $20/88lb., molasses about 50cents/litre
Bull stud fees are approx $10-20 – AI is $60 for unknown calf sex - $100 for guaranteed female.
If/when I hire someone it would cost me $2.00/hr, if benefits are included add another 60cents.
Electricity is expensive here, but we recently cut the hourly rate by reducing usage via solar hot water heater.
Propane stove, propane approx $18/portable BBQ size tank.
Liquid rennet is bought locally – costs a couple of dollars and lasts me a very long time because it is commercial strength.
Cultures I buy from the USA on my yearly visits to Canada.
At the moment the largest mold for my press has a 6gal milk capacity (approx 6inch dia, 8in high).
At the moment I am selling to friends, so I skim off the cream from 1/3 of the milk to make butter and ice cream for my own use – but for some cheese recipes I don’t remove any cream.
Eventually, if needed, a second batch of cheese could be made, starting about an hour later – to help reduce labor costs.
Did I miss any needed information?
Very much looking forward to your replies. Thank you.