OLATHE — Out in the middle of sweet corn and alfalfa country, in a red metal building set next to a milking barn and a cow pen, a sixth-generation dairy family has broken with rural, sliced-American-cheese-loving tradition.
The Webb family instead has embraced the upscale stampede to foods that are artisanal and local. It has turned Webb Dairy into the largest farmstead producer of cows’ milk cheese in Colorado.
How the Webbs’ “cheesery” managed to put Portobello Leek Jack, Havarti, Gouda and Rocky Mountain Sunset Cheddar into the artisan cheese cases at supermarkets across the state is a saga of stubbornness, luck, business savvy and bovines.
And as with many agricultural gambles, it nearly ended badly.