SA cheesemaker plans for new home in state-of-the-art manufacturing plant

Celebrating 30 years of success in cheesemaking, South Australian family business La Casa Del Formaggio has recently announced their move to a new state-of-the-art cheese manufacturing plant, to be built in 2020.

Renowned for their award-winning cheese products including ricotta, bocconcini, mozzarella, pecorino, parmesan, haloumi and burrata, La Casa Del Formaggio will expand from their current site at Glynde, north-east of Adelaide, to the Northern Adelaide Food Park.

The food park at Edinburgh Parks about 25km from the CBD is a food processing and manufacturing hub allowing businesses to innovate and collaborate with industry to access international markets.

La Casa Del Formaggio’s managing director, Claude Cicchiello, says the business is currently in the master planning stages of what they believe will be one of Australia’s best cheese manufacturing facilities.

Cherry bocconcini being made in the Glynde factory.

“I feel very fortunate we’ve been able to do what we love for 30 years, and we’re excited at the opportunity to expand our operations,” he says.

“The world-class modern facility will allow us to continue to produce cheese and dairy products for the Australian consumer, foodservice and export markets.”

Claude’s parents Gerardo and Rosa Cicchiello, migrants from Italy, started the business in 1988. It grew slowly and organically from its origins as a small operation supplying only the Cicchiello’s own continental deli, before higher demand saw the deli close and the cheesemaking operations take centre stage. Today, the business employs 130 people and supplies fresh cheese products Australia wide.

“Our family introduced bocconcini into the Australian market,” Claude says. “It was a product that was foreign to many families who were not used to enjoying fresh cheeses in their meals.”

“However, our local European community was certainly glad to find the product available, and over time we educated consumers through recipe sharing and cooking demonstrations.

“We also had a bit of luck in the early days with celebrity chefs such as Jamie Oliver using the products in his recipes.”

Claude’s sister Marissa behind the counter at La Casa Del Formaggio’s retail shop.

In the early 1990s Claude successfully implemented manufacturing processes that enabled the bocconcini product to be transported from the manufacturing facility onto supermarket shelves. The bocconcini products are still their number one seller.

“The Australian palate has certainly changed over the past 20 years. I remember a time when it was all about cheddar, with some blue and a little brie, but the demand for fresh cheese has taken off,” Claude says.

“We’re always keeping a close eye on European cheese trends, and our traditional hands-on cheese making techniques allow us to develop these products for the Australian market.

“Last year we launched our burrata – a delicate shell of fresh mozzarella that encases a decadent filling of stracciatella (mozzarella shreds soaked in cream), and it’s already proving to be very popular.”

Claude, left, and his father Gerardo in the factory.

Claude says making a consistent high-quality fresh cheese is not as simple as following a recipe.

“The milk from which you make the cheese changes regularly, and our cheese-makers need to adjust accordingly – it really is an art,” he says.

Along with the new facility at Edinburgh Park, Claude looks forward to maintaining a presence at their current location in Glynde, with a small cheesemaking operation and sales outlet open to the public.

“We still want to honour our home,” he says. “I love South Australia and I couldn’t imagine doing business and living anywhere else.”

Burrata features a delicate shell of fresh mozzarella encasing stracciatella.

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Adelaide-built Brabham BT62 to hit the streets for Superloop 500

The Adelaide designed and manufactured supercar Brabham BT62 will be steered through city streets when it features at the Superloop Adelaide 500 next month.

Driven by former Formula 1 driver and multiple Le Mans winner David Brabham, the $1.8 million speed machine will make on-track demonstrations and will also feature in public displays throughout the four-day event.

The Superloop Adelaide 500, from February 28 to March 3, is the largest ticketed domestic motorsport event in Australia and is the first event for the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.

The Brabham BT62, built to deliver “blistering lap times”, is powered by a Brabham 5.4 litre V8 engine producing 522kW. It also features an aerodynamic package that delivers more than 1200kg of downforce.

Car manufacturing in South Australia was reborn in 2018 with the announcement that legendary automaker Brabham Automotive would build the BT62 in northern Adelaide.

The racetrack-only cars are manufactured in Brabham Automotive’s global headquarters at Edinburgh Parks, 1km from the former Holden plant. The BT62 is limited to only 70 cars in a nod to Brabham Automotive’s 70-year racing heritage.

The $1.8 million Brabham BT62. Photo: Brabham Automotive.

UK-based David Brabham, son of three-time Formula 1 World Champion Sir Jack Brabham, will bring the BT62 to the annual motor racing event in Adelaide, a city once home of the Australian Grand Prix between 1885 and 1995. David competed in the then SA-based Grand Prix in 1990 and 1994.

His father, Sir Jack Brabham died in 2014 and is considered one of Australia’s greatest motor racing legends.

“To drive the BT62 around the Superloop Adelaide 500 street circuit will be a fitting tribute to my father as we celebrate the 60th anniversary of his first Formula 1 World Championship in 1959, and what Brabham Automotive stands for,” David says.

“Alongside our family ties to Australia, the region of SA holds a rich automotive heritage as well as hosting one of the most popular motorsport events in Australia.”

Superloop Adelaide 500 general manager Alistair MacDonald hopes the on-track demonstration will bring a touch of history and the thrill of adrenalin to attendees.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for motorsport fans and those alike to appreciate the power of these race cars as they take to the Superloop Adelaide 500 street circuit,” he says.

“We want to recognise the legacy of the Brabham family and there is nothing more fitting than to host the BT62, a great SA manufacturing story, at the premier motorsport event in its home town.”

The Superloop Adelaide 500 won’t be the first time the BT62 has hit the track in SA. It was tested at Tailem Bend’s The Bend Motorsport Park, a 7.7km track, the world’s second-longest permanent circuit.

The BT62 was also run at the Adelaide Motorsport Festival in December.

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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