Hall of Fame Alumni
Woodside Cheese Wrights
About Me - My Biography
Kris Lloyd is CEO and Head cheese maker of Woodside Cheese Wrights a specialist cheese maker of goat and cow cheeses, based in the Adelaide Hills in South Australia. Producing around 15 different cheese styles, all made by hand at the factory in Woodside. Distribution is throughout Australia.Kris is a self taught cheese maker and has now been making cheese for around 15 years. She has grown the business in size year on year, while maintaining true artisan values and being renowned as one of Australia's leading quality cheese makers. Passion and innovation are her key drivers.Kris is also the Director and Founder of CheeseFest, a festival designed to celebrate the Cheese Maker and raise awareness of specialty cheeses within Australia. CheeseFest has grown since the first festival in 2002 to be a nationally recognised event, with the 2012 festival attracting more than 10,000 people over two days.
Kris grew the business fourfold over the years 2002 to 2004 and continues to grow the business year on year. She has been making cheese for around 14 years and is supported by a passionate team of cheesemakers producing cheeses by traditional methods, resulting in plenty of flavour and individual character. In 2004, she established the South Australian Specialist Cheese Association “Cheese SA” to promote specialty cheese and introduce industry driven education and training programs in South Australia.
She has also pioneered a range of seasonal cheeses, with innovative packaging and presentation, to take advantage of seasonal variations in milk supply. Kris works closely with chefs around Australia to develop cheeses exclusively for their menus.
Kris is also the Director and Founder of CheeseFest, a festival designed to raise awareness of specialty cheese and celebrate the Cheese Maker. CheeseFest has grown since the first festival in 2002 to be a nationally recognised event, and 2012 saw CheeseFest run over two days attracting in excess of 10,000 visitors.
Woodside Cheese Wrights has won numerous cheese awards throughout Australia, including the Grand Dairy Award in 2004 and 2011 and has won the South Australian Premiers Food Award both for innovation and excellence in small business in 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2007. In late 2008, Kris was awarded the Zonta Women’s Achievement Award for an Outstanding Entrepreneur. Woodside Cheese Wrights was awarded gold medals at the World Cheese Awards judged in Dublin, Canary Islands and Birmingham, England in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012 respectively. Woodside was the only Australian cheesemaker awarded a gold medal in 2008 and remains the only South Australian cheesemaker to receive a gold medal at these awards, where over 2500 cheeses are judged from 30 countries around the world.
In 2012, Woodside was awarded a Super Gold medal for the Woodside Wakame Blue Cheese, listing it as one of the best 55 cheeses in the world. In 2008, Kris founded the Cheesemaker in Residence Program of which she was Chair. The program was awarded state government funding to help in the skilling of current cheesemakers and offer a pathway for new cheesemakers to learn and train. The program was highly successful and introduced French and American cheese experts into the South Australian cheesemaking arena. In 2010, Kris was the South Australian winner in the Telstra Business Women’s Award in the Commonwealth Bank Business Owner category and The Nokia Business Innovation Award Category. She then won the 2010 Telstra Business Women’s National Award for Business Innovation.
In 2010, Kris was also appointed as one of the Board of Directors for the South Australian Tourism Commission. Then in 2011, Kris was awarded The Adelaide Food Legend Award for her commitment to the South Australian food industry. She has been the driving force behind the establishment of The Artisan Cheese Making Academy Australia, which is the only cheesemaking school in Australia to address Artisan style leaning for cheesemakers, offering both hands-on and technical learning. She is chair of the Academy Steering Committee.
Woodside Cheese Wrights was also overall winner of the Advantage SA, Food Award and Regional winner of the Advantage SA, Hills and Coast, Food Award.
Kris continues to be involved in many aspects of Cheese and Food in South Australia and Australia. She writes a monthly cheese column for The Adelaide Review print media and is also working on a book. One key learning experience which she can pass on to other entrepreneurs is to not let others tell you something won’t work.
“Many colleagues and others have often doubted most of my successes. If you believe in your idea and are passionate to make it happen and work then go with it, your confidence in your ideas is half the selling point. Several of these ideas have put my business on the map nationally and internationally. I am always reminding myself that I am glad I did not listen to the sceptics.”
Strategies for Success
- Don’t let anyone tell you something can’t be done.
- Explore all ideas – even the craziest, you just never now.
- Always be prepared to listen and continue learning.
- You are your own limit, try not to set limits, continuously benchmark and challenge what you do to be the best.
- Above all, enjoy what you do because success comes from passion, persistence and patience.