For those nostalgic about milk sold in glass bottles with cream rising to the top, there's now Ocheesee Creamery. The new venture by 20-year dairy farmers Paul and Mary Lou Wesselhoeft is Florida's only producer of milk sold in recyclable glass bottles — there's a $2 deposit charge — and the only dairy making its own butter, according to Florida Department of Agriculture.
The couple's Shady Nook Farm, with 160 acres of mostly pastureland for their 100 Jersey cows, straddles the Calhoun-Jackson county line near Grand Ridge. Their long-held ambition to pasteurize, process and bottle their own dairy products was realized with construction of a $200,000 storefront plant where customers can also watch the bottling. They also sell at local farmers markets and grocery stores.
Making ice cream is next and then cheese, says Mary Lou Wesselhoeft. "There's an art to making cheese," she adds. "We're studying it."