Close-up on the Montricher Gourmande cheese dairy

You may have seen him in a video spot on TV, in the cinema or on the Internet, or perhaps on a billboard in one of Switzerland's major cities. Etienne Aebischer, owner of the Fromagerie Gourmande in Montricher, is taking part in the advertising campaign for Gruyère AOP under the IPG banner. The cheesemaker and his team became actors for the duration of the filming.

24 Aug 2021
Around Le Gruyère AOP
©Aliénor Held

"I'm also lucky, because I have motivated producers who ensure quality milk. They are proactive. When there is a problem, they immediately look for solutions with the milking consultants."

Etienne Aebischer, Cheesemaker

The film crew was made up of 15 people: 2 directors were installed in the restaurant, 1 make-up artist in the conference room and 9 professionals in the cheese dairy for the images, sound, light and production, as well as 3 members of the IPG. "It was a great experience to see how these professionals work," recalls Etienne Aebischer. “They adapted well to our working conditions, with the steam and humidity. At times, they asked us to adapt our movements in order to obtain beautiful images. We were impressed by the number of professionals working for two days to produce two spots, one 30 second TV spot and a 50 second cinema spot. There are 6 of us to process 5 million kg of milk," he smiles!

These spots were shot in the Gourmande cheese dairy, which was built in 2015, following the merger of the Apples, Ballens, Mont-la-Ville and Montricher dairy companies at the foot of the Jura. The new building is an ambitious one, as it includes the cheese dairy, the cellar which can accommodate up to 6,000 wheels, a shop and a restaurant. The company was able to take advantage of aid under the regional agricultural development plan. Mr. Aebischer, who was able to oversee the entire production process during the construction of the building, has also been in charge of the shop with his wife since 2019, while Christophe Pingoud, a self-employed person, has been running the restaurant since 2020.

Etienne Aebischer has 5 production employees and 2 part-time drivers to collect the milk from the 18 producers. His father, a retired cheesemaker, comes to help out 2 or 3 times a week; it was he who passed on his passion to Etienne. Etienne's wife and three saleswomen work in the shop. "With my small team, the organisation of working hours has become easier. I have every other weekend off, which is a real pleasure. My father used to work seven days a week. Fortunately, times are changing. This is important if we want to attract young people to this profession!"

"I'm also lucky, because I have motivated producers who ensure quality milk," he says. “They are proactive. When there is a problem, they immediately look for solutions with the milking consultants." This love of a job well done, from milk production to cheese making, has been rewarded several times.

Etienne Aebischer won a gold medal for his Gruyère AOP produced between 2014-2019 and matured by Fromco. This makes him one of the best manufacturers of our product. In 2020, his Gruyère AOP was also chosen by the Canton of Vaud State Council as the cheese of excellence.

However, experience has shown him that no one is immune to unpleasant surprises. If the humidity drops by 0.5 because of an air conditioner, a solution must be found as quickly as possible. Etienne Aebischer, who is also an appraisal officer for the association, likes to take on challenges. He defends this profession on a daily basis and relies on quality to pass on the flavours of Le Gruyère AOP to consumers both here and abroad.

These events may be of interest to you