award-winning Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Co. has closed up shop. Once thought to be one of Ontario’s most successful dairies, Fifth Town provided cheese for some of Toronto’s hottest eateries, such as Auberge Du Pommier, George and Jamie Kennedy Kitchens. Founder and former CEO Petra Kassun-Mutch made the announcement via Facebook yesterday.

">

Say goodbye to Fifth Town Artisan Cheese


Published:

After four years in business, the award-winning Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Co. has closed up shop. Once thought to be one of Ontario’s most successful dairies, Fifth Town provided cheese for some of Toronto’s hottest eateries, such as Auberge Du Pommier, George and Jamie Kennedy Kitchens. Founder and former CEO Petra Kassun-Mutch made the announcement via Facebook yesterday.

Kassun-Mutch tells us that the company, which began operations in 2008, had been experiencing financial difficulties for quite some time. Though the annual revenue had reached $1.4 million after two years, Fifth Town was still not making enough money to cover costs. At the same time, it couldn’t satisfy the demand for its cheese and had no luck acquiring much-needed capital from investors.

“This was never designed to be a Saputo,” Kassun-Mutch says. “It was supposed to be a community business.”

Kassun-Mutch stepped down from her post as CEO last August when her former partner and ex-husband decided it was time to sell off the company.

Her ex-husband had little success in finding a buyer, and Fifth Town laid off its final eight employees yesterday and closed its doors for good.

“It takes five to seven years to make a business like this work,” she says. “It’s not something you should start unless you have the stomach to wait.”

Kassun-Mutch maintains that Fifth Town was an inspiration in the industry, particularly in its commitment to sustainability and staying as green as possible. The dairy itself was powered, in part, by a windmill and eight solar panels, as well as using underground concrete caves to keep the cheese cool rather than expensive refrigerators.

“You have to try new things in order to move forward. It was a good business, it just needed more time and more capital.”


Update (May 4): Fifth Town’s interim president, Christine Legein, has said that the company has not closed down, but has indefinitely suspended production of its cheeses for the wholesale market while it attempts a restructuring. Its Prince Edward County retail outlet (4309 County Rd. 8, Picton, 613-476-5755) remains open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays selling Fifth Town’s stockpiled inventory.  

Edit Module

Join the conversation and have your say by commenting below. Our comment system uses a Facebook plugin. Please note that you'll have to turn off some ad-blockers in order to see the comments.

Edit Module

Follow us on Twitter @PostCity for more on what to eat, where to shop and what to do in Toronto.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

You may also like...

How the Food Dudes put their multi-faceted stamp on Toronto’s dining scene

How the Food Dudes put their multi-faceted stamp on Toronto’s dining scene

Adrian Niman and Brent McClenahan are the official co-owners of the Food Dudes, overseeing two acclaimed restaurants — Rasa and Omaw — two grab-and-go Pantry eateries and two food trucks. Oh, and they cater over 1,500 events a year.
Posted 18 hours ago
Eat This Minute: T.O.’s newest New York City import has tongues wagging

Eat This Minute: T.O.’s newest New York City import has tongues wagging

Posted 2 days ago
First Look: Adamson adds Conspiracy Pizza next door to their BBQ operation

First Look: Adamson adds Conspiracy Pizza next door to their BBQ operation

Midtown’s newest pizza joint is now in its soft opening phase and doling out 18-inch pizzas ranging from $20 for a plain old cheese pizza to $28 for the brisket pizza. The style of pizza served at Conspiracy is a “New York-Italian hybrid,” says their pizzaiolo, Dan Rios.
Posted 3 days ago
At the Bar: One-two milk punch from Good Fortune

At the Bar: One-two milk punch from Good Fortune

Craft cocktail bar Good Fortune has us fooled. Clarified punch is a super old-timey way of crafting cocktails, with the best-known recipe reaching back to 1711.
Posted 4 days ago
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleEdit Module