Rumiano Cheese Company
California’s oldest family-owned cheese company was founded by three young Italian immigrant brothers from a small town outside of Torino. With World War 1 approaching and trouble brewing in Europe, they decided to head west, all the way to California. Initial endeavors included gold mining and working in the shipyards of San Francisco. However, the growing population in Northern California presented an opportunity they couldn’t turn away from – an increasing number of hungry customers and a need for traditional Italian cheese.
In 1919, they purchased land around Willows, 90 miles north of Sacramento. The three brothers made a dynamic team, and they grew the business to eight plants throughout the Northwest. They provided customers with cheddars and jacks, as well as a solution to the lack of Italian hard cheese. It was their take on Italian hard cheese, better known as Dry Monterey Jack, that has become the flagship item of Rumiano. It is considered a California-Original and is still made in hand-rolled wheels and aged on the original aging racks in the hand dug cellar in Willows.
The dynamic teamwork is still in play, as both 3rd and 4th generation Rumianos work together. A Rumiano Family member is involved in each key area of the business, from manufacturing to production and accounting.
Today, Rumiano has condensed back down to two factories. One in Crescent City, California where all cheese, butter, and powder is made, and the original plant in Willows, California. In the heart of the North Coast milk shed, Crescent City was an obvious choice. A state-of-the-art plant including a wastewater treatment facility and whey protein concentrate plant, Crescent City is within 120 miles of all dairies. The Willows plant serves as the packaging and distribution plant, being centrally located to service customers throughout the Northwest and major food metropolis’ throughout the nation.
Nearly as notable as the family history, is the milkshed from which Rumiano sources their milk. Humboldt and Del Norte counties provide the perfect environment for raising dairy cattle. A steady 60 degrees year-round, paired with ample rainfall, allow the grass to grow nearly 300+ days a year. This means cattle being milked for Rumiano Cheese are out on fresh, green pasture year-round, and cared by for small, generational family farms. The milk produced in this region is unmatched in cleanliness, taste, and quality. Quality milk is the basis of their award-winning cheese.
The passion for quality products that was ignited all those years ago, continues today. Rumiano Cheese Company strives for the perfect cheese experience, incorporating new ideas while maintaining the values instilled by its founders. A hundred years later, and Rumiano Cheese Company is still crafting cheese on the Redwood Coast!