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From corporate to artisan and from artisan to exporter, Beehive Cheese is a prime example of how a homegrown, family-owned startup can successfully go global.

I never imagined a day where I would eat a cheese curd that would alter my paradigm of food, but it happened. My first bite of Beehive Cheese's Ragin' Cajun Cheese Curd was intensely satisfying. There was a fireworklike explosion of flavors, and my face immediately melted into solemnity in respect for the delicious cheese that graced my tongue. Next, I reached back into the bag to share a piece with my beautiful fiancee. A cheese that good cannot be kept to yourself — although, to be honest, I probably ate the majority of the bag.

Beehive Cheese is one example of a Utah company that has had great success locally, nationally and internationally.

From corporate to artisan and from artisan to exporter, Beehive Cheese is a prime example of how a homegrown, family-owned startup can successfully go global. Here at the Utah Department of Agriculture, we celebrate the success of this company and hope to see Utah companies find growth through international markets. Beehive Cheese found export assistance through the Utah Dairy Council; our office can help you connect to many resources, including the Western United States Trade Association (WUSATA) and the World Trade Center. Please contact our office to explore the path of exporting.

A standout cheese processor, Beehive Cheese has won many local, national and international awards and has sold cheese from Singapore to the European Union.

It’s no wonder that a company that can shift paradigms is also a company that has become wildly successful in a short time. It especially helps when local infrastructure is in place to help Utah business go global.

Since 2005, Beehive Cheese has won a plethora of awards at cheese competitions throughout the world, including its Barely Buzzed Cheese, which won the Bronze Award at the World Cheese Awards and First Place at the American Cheese Society Competition. Its cheese has been featured in recipes on local television shows, been raved about by food critics throughout the country and hoisted to championship levels throughout the world. This is just the start to a long list of deliciously cheesy accomplishments.

Not only does Beehive Cheese win awards for the curdling of mouthwatering cheese, but it is also one of Utah’s select few exporters. In 2012, founder Tim Welsh and his wife traveled to the Canary Islands off the coast of Spain, where they unexpectedly stumbled across the World Cheese Awards. The next year, Tim decided to take Beehive Cheese to the awards in London, where it found phenomenal success. It was at this competition that Beehive Cheese made connections with its first international buyer. Shortly afterwards, a 100 percent Utah-made product started hitting the shelves in Europe.

In a competitive business environment, it's critical for Utah companies to expand their market. The Utah Department of Agriculture and various partners can help local businesses become international successes just like Beehive Cheese.

Ryker Woolsey is an intern with the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food.