We are a small team with a big passion, sharing a love of the South Waikato district and a real interest in innovating and exploring the unchartered frontiers of the New Zealand dairy industry.
As a learning organisation, we expand in numbers several times a year as we host interns from European engineering and culinary schools.
A dream to excite the cheese tasting public with specialty cheeses and other dairy products made from some of the world’s most well nurtured cows’, sheep and goats’ milk was local resident Sue Arthur’s dream. Now she really is “Over the Moon” with how her life has turned out, never thinking her simple ‘retirement’ project would become such a successful business in such a short time.
With the perfect dairying conditions surrounding her for more than 20 years, Sue’s passion for dairy products ignited and saw her traverse the nation and the globe to experience, make and sample cheese (glorious cheese!). In late 2007, Sue brought her inspiration back to the South Waikato to set up Over the Moon, and its affiliate the New Zealand Cheese School. By early 2008, Over the Moon had made its first cheeses and won a gold and two silver medals at the Cuisine New Zealand Champion of Cheese Awards.
Since then Over The Moon has notched up 75 medals and 13 trophies at national and world championships.
While it’s not often a quiet day for Sue, she does make time to fit in a good bike ride several times a week between her home in Lichfield and the factory. On the less quiet days, Sue still fits in a bike ride, but speeds it up on her Honda Buell 500 motorcycle! Sue dreams of holidays river boating in France and skiing the slopes of New Zealand.
Sue Arthur is available to speak about the development of her businesses and her own personal journey of self-discovery and cheese obsession. Please contact us for further information or read more about Sue’s story here.
Grietje De Vries
Grietje, or ‘G’, has been with Over the Moon Dairy since 2009. Grietje never imagined she would end up a cheesemaker, but really enjoys the science of cheesemaking. Grietje is keen to keep working as a commercial cheesemaker and would like to try her palate at judging cheese.
Craig moves internally into full time Cheesemaker from his existing position of part time Cheesemaker & Putaruru Deli Cheese Expert. Craig is excited to be in the factory full time.
Debbie Hayes-Lennon – Retail Manager
Debbie is the manager of our two Over the Moon Delis in Putaruru and Cambridge. Debbie stocks our stores with delectable treats and is our cheese tower expert. Pop in and see her to taste some of our cheeses. Debbie’s twin passions are food and golf.
Putaruru Deli Team
Sheryl, Lee-Ann, Anna-Marie, Bradley, and Jacqui make up the team in the Putaruru Deli. They are all expert in cheese tastings, whipping up delicious coffees to enjoy in store or take away.
Cambridge Deli Team
Jennie is our Senior Assistant in Cambridge and Vicky, Lee-Ann and Jacqui make up the team in Cambridge. Visit the team in store for all of your cheese, ice cream and deli needs!
The Packroom Team
Geridien and Lee-Ann make up the Packroom team. Both are expert in wrapping round cheese into square paper and cutting cheese to preset weights!! No easy feat.
Donna Emerson – Dispatch
Donna takes care of our dispatch area. She sends our orders all over New Zealand to food stores, supermarkets and eateries nationwide!
Rachelle Walker – Accounts Manager
Rachelle is our account wrangler but her talents don’t end there! She is our go-to-girl for everything Over the Moon related and knows the business inside out. Rachelle will jump in where she is needed!
Many of our recipes are created by Master Cheesemaker, Master Cheese Grader and Master of Cheese, Neil Willman.
Neil is Principal of the New Zealand Cheese School and has trained most Australian and many New Zealand cheesemakers, cheese judges, food media, and cheese lovers through Melbourne University and now the New Zealand Cheese School.
For 22 years, Neil has been a specialist cheese competition judge in Australia and 4-time guest judge at the World Championship Cheese Contest in the USA. He has also been a guest judge at the British Cheese Awards and twice, the Master Judge of the New Zealand Champions of Cheese Awards. A veteran of over 100 competitions, he remains the Head Judge of the two largest dairy competitions in Australia.
Neil has represented Australia as Australia’s Cheese Master in a regional promotion of Australian cheese in a 5 nation program. Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Indonesia.
He regularly conducts in-house training programs for Australian cheese manufacturers and conducts international training programs for Japanese, Chinese and Korean cheese industries for the peak Australian dairy organisation.
Neil has written most of the training manuals for the Australian and New Zealand cheese industries. His most recent work is a book for home cheesemakers, Cheese – The Guide to making your own and Home Cheesemaking.