John Esh never has to go far for one of his favorite treats.
He does, after all, manufacture about 100,000 pounds of cheese a year on his family’s farm at 351 Wise Road, Howard.
The Esh family founded Goot Essa, which means “good food,” 15 years ago. The Amish business has grown over the years along with its 13 varieties of cheese, and they ship to all 50 states.
It all goes back to the basics for Esh.
“It’s probably no different than any other business that reflects the values and character of the founder,” he said. “Chick-fil-A and their founder don’t want to be open Sundays. So, that makes his business slightly different because of his values. We have similar values not being open Sunday, but the core is the same as any business should be: Treat people with respect, build a quality product and have integrity. Those are all the key ingredients it takes for a successful business to run.”
As another example, our sharp cheddar needs to age three years. We want that to be the very best there is, so it needs to meet certain criteria, like the pH needs to be 5.2. We don’t want it to be too crumbly, and we want it to taste good. Those are the three things I’m looking for when I’m taste testing.